Sunday, 6 September 2020

I, Ada blog tour extract

Ada Byron is rich and clever, but she longs to be free. Free to explore all the amazing ideas that come to her imagination, like flying mechanical horses and stories inspired by her travels. Free to find love and passion beyond the watchful gaze of her mother and governesses. And free to learn the full truth about her father, the notorious Lord Byron. Then Ada meets a man whose invention might just change the world - and he needs her visionary brilliance to bring it to life . . . A wonderfully witty and poignant portrayal of the young life of Ada Lovelace, the 19th-century mathematician who is hailed as the world's first computer programmer.

How amazing does this sound? Today is my stop on the blog tour for I, Ada and I'm so excited to read this book! The opening chapters have really grabbed my attention and I have an extra from the beginning of the book to pique yours.

Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire 

May 1821

I am in the vegetable garden of my grandparents' estate, hunting for fairies. Hunting is the wrong word, because I do not intend to kill and eat the fairies – I would simply like to observe their gossamer-winged ways, and perhaps, if I can, to be friends with them. My suspicion is that these particular fairies live beneath cabbage leaves, and so that is where I am looking when I see the spider's web. Strung like a silvery scarf between the plants, it could have been wrought by the fairies themselves. I've never seen one so close. I stretch out one finger – not to touch, just to get a better sense of it, so intricately woven, so slight and yet so strong – when I hear Mamma.

'Ada, where are you? Ada!'

Obeying the summons, I scramble up via a wheelbarrow onto the low garden wall. I intend to jump off the wall in one neat movement, but the hem of my dress catches on something, and I end up tumbling off it like Humpty Dumpty and into the arms of my mother.

'What in heaven's name were you doing, Ada?' she says, as she sets me down upright and pats the earth from my skirts. 

'Looking for fairies. They're quick, you know – so quick that I can't quite catch them. But I mean to, one day–'

She makes a loud, impatient sound with her teeth as she drags me back along the path towards the house. 'Fairies! I never heard such foolishness. Why must you tear about so?'

'Stillness is for statues,' I protest. 'You wouldn't want me to be motionless all the time, would you, as though I were a horrid, sad, dead thing?'

*   *   *

The warmth and humour of this immediately captivated me and I can't wait to read the rest of the book! Thank you to Andersen Press for the gifted copy and for including me on the blog tour.

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