Episode # 9

The Movement of Stars
A Novel

Amy Brill

A love story set in 1845 Nantucket, between a female astronomer and the unusual man who understands her dreams. Read More »

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400 pgs.


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The Movement of Stars

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman's path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different— and elusive—goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.

And the man she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared passion for astronomy develops into something deeper, Hannah's standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.

Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America, The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity.

Praise for The Movement of Stars

“Amy Brill has fashioned a quiet hero who charts her own course. . . . Nineteenth-century Nantucket feels wholly vivid in this novel, and the love story at its heart blazes with real feeling and intensity.”
Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

“Brill's uncluttered prose mirrors her heroine's clear eye. . . . A delicately handled love story.”
Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter

“A spectacular debut . . . I cheered for Hannah Price, our feisty heroine, as she unraveled the mystery of her own desires while burning a trail for other women to follow.”
Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

AMY BRILL is a writer and producer who has worked for PBS and MTV, and has been awarded fellowships by the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Millay Colony, and the American Antiquarian Society, among others. This is her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn.