Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): The Determined Heart by Antoinette May #TLCBookTours #historicalfiction #MaryShelley #Frankenstein

Title: The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein
Antoinette May
Publisher: Lake Union Press (Amazon Publishing)
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

The Determined Heart reveals the life of Mary Shelley in a story of love and obsession, betrayal and redemption.

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences. Soon she finds herself destitute and embroiled in a torturous love triangle as Percy takes Mary’s stepsister as a lover. Over the next several years, Mary struggles to write while she and Percy face ostracism, constant debt, and the heartbreaking deaths of three children. Ultimately, she achieves great acclaim for Frankenstein, but at what cost?

My Review

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite novels, but I've not had much luck with anything written about her life. Since I've been craving historical fiction, and Amazon Publishing puts out some pretty stellar books, I figured that I should give The Determined Heart a chance. Believe it or not, I got exactly what I was looking for.

I'm no expert when it comes to Mary or Percy Bysshe Shelley, but I've done enough research and written papers on them to know most of their history. I was pleased to note that The Determined Heart is about as accurate as you can get with historical fiction. There was a lot of heartache in the Shelley's lives, and May does a good job novelizing it. Excerpts from the works of the major characters - the Shelleys and Lord Byron - are scattered within the novel, as it applies to the events.

If you enjoy historical fiction or reading about the lives of famous people, I recommend picking up The Determined Heart. The story is well-written and believable (which is no small thing when writing about a real person's life). I loved learning about what inspired Shelley's writing of Frankenstein, and I most certainly want to reread the classic soon.

- 4.5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

About the Author

Antoinette May is the author of Pilate’s Wife and The Sacred Well and coauthor of the New York Timesbestseller Adventures of a Psychic. An award-winning travel writer specializing in Mexico, May divides her time between Palo Alto and the Sierra foothills.

Follow the Tour

The Determined Heart Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 29th

Tuesday, September 29th
The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, September 30th

Thursday, October 1st
From L.A. to LA

Friday, October 2nd
Guiltless Reading

Monday, October 5th
It’s a Mad Mad World

Wednesday, October 7th
Kritter’s Ramblings

Thursday, October 8th
Outlandish Lit

Monday, October 12th
A Chick Who Reads
The Chocolate Lady’s Book Reviews

Tuesday, October 13th
A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, October 14th
Mom in Love with Fiction

Thursday, October 15th
Just One More Chapter

Monday, October 19th
Reading Reality

Wednesday, October 21st
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Friday, October 23rd
Romantic Historical Reviews

Wednesday, November 4th
Bibliophilia, Please

Mom’s Small Victories
Books a la Mode
– author guest post


Thanks to the book's publicity folks, I have a copy of The Determined Heart by Antoinette May up for grabs for one lucky winner.

Terms & Conditions Found on Rafflecopter Form
US & Canada Only
Ends at 12:01am CST on November 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.


  1. Just wondering.... did you have a hard time calling Bysshe "bish" and not "byesh" when you were reading this book, like I did?

  2. I'm pretty sure this would spur me on to reread Frankenstein, too.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!