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The Words in My Hand - Guinevere Glasfurd, Two Roads
The Words in My Hand
by: (author) (author)
5.00 10
The Words in my Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena, a 17th-century Dutch maid desperate to educate herself and use her mind in an era when women were kept firmly in their place. Helena works in the Amsterdam lodging house of an English bookseller who rents out a room to the mysterious... show more
The Words in my Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena, a 17th-century Dutch maid desperate to educate herself and use her mind in an era when women were kept firmly in their place. Helena works in the Amsterdam lodging house of an English bookseller who rents out a room to the mysterious 'Monsieur', who turns out to be René Descartes. Always trying to keep one step ahead of the authorities desperate to suppress his free thinking, Descartes and Helena form an unlikely bond which turns from teaching into an affair. For all his learning, it's Helena who provides him with insights and emotional perspective from the everyday life all around him. For this is Helena's story, a woman who yearned for knowledge, who wanted to write so badly - and who could afford nothing - she made her own ink from beetroot and used her body for paper. Weaving together the story of Descartes' quest for reason with Helena's struggle for literacy, the novel follows Helena's journey across the Dutch Republic as she tries to keep their young daughter secret. Through Helena's story, everyday objects are transformed into new ways of learning. Their worlds overlap yet remain sharply divided; the only way of being together is living unseen. Helena and Descartes face a terrible tragedy and ultimately have to decide if their love is possible at all.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
ASIN: B0184JWOHU
Publisher: Two Roads
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Just Olga and her books
Just Olga and her books rated it
5.0 A footnote to Descartes’s biography finds her voice
Thanks to Net Galley and to John Murray Press Two Roads for offering me a free ARC of this novel that I voluntarily review. This novel, that could be classed as historical fiction, tells the (at least in part imagined) story of Helena Jans, a Dutch maid who was serving at a house where René Descarte...
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