Friday, March 31, 2023

Spotlight of Her Lost Words by Stephanie Marie Thornton



HER LOST WORDS is a riveting novel about two literary legends discovering each other and finding themselves along the way. 


Thornton shines a new light on Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley and transforms the unreachable literary legends into living, breathing people—a mother and daughter who never got the chance to know one another in person, but whose bond transcended time.


Berkley Trade Paperback
March 28, 2023


Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Women's Fiction


“A stunning homage to two legendary women writers—Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley—Her Lost Words is a poignant and page-turning work of historical fiction. Stephanie Marie Thornton’s ability to bring historical women to life for the reader is unparalleled as she chronicles their passions, struggles, and legacy with impeccable research and emotional resonance. An extraordinary read!"—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of Our Last Days in Barcelona

"A  beautifully crafted, spellbinding, heartbreaking tale of a mother and daughter whose paths tragically cross for only a handful of days—but who share the same passion, creativity, and thirst for understanding the depths of the human heart. This novel is a masterpiece I won’t forget, an ode to motherhood, to love, and to two brilliant women who changed the world with their words. One of the best historical fiction books of the year, and one that I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come."—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

"Stephanie Thornton delivers a stunning historical fiction with lyrical prose and vivid description that reveals the lives of Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft - both women of talent and intellect who seek equal rights in a world dominated by men. Set amid a cast of literary names we all recognize and love, Her Lost Words, is sure to be a reader favorite."—Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Librarian Spy

"I could not turn these pages fast enough! The dual tales of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley are brilliantly interwoven by Thornton, whose prose sparkles with wit and wisdom about literature, romance, and family. The Marys are heroines for their time and ours, remarkable women with independent hearts and minds, true inspirations to anyone who dreams of making the world a better place."
Kerri Maher, national bestselling author of The Paris Bookseller

“As passionate and fiercely intelligent as its protagonists, Her Lost Words is a fitting tribute to two women whose literary achievements reshaped the world….Brilliant.”Shelf Awareness

“Thornton deftly maneuvers through her subjects’ lives in alternating chapters, highlighting the ways both women defy expectations regarding marriage, motherhood, and women’s roles in society. Readers who enjoy sweeping, emotional biographical fiction about iconoclastic women will be hooked.”Booklist

"Stephanie Thornton once again delivers a compelling story of two women ahead of their time, bound by their words and their blood. Though Mary Shelley lost her mother Mary Wollstonecraft at birth, she had her feminist writings to sustain and shape her. One would be hard pressed to find two stronger or more significant female writers and both are brought back to life with elegant prose and wisdom under Thornton’s skillful hand, making her one of my favorite historical novelists.”
—Renée Rosen, USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces

“Immersive, elegant, engaging--readers will savor the details of this fascinating account of the making of two brave, brilliant women--mother and daughter--who defy the odds as authors and early feminists."Heather Webb, USA Today bestselling author of Strangers in the Night

"What a vibrant, immersive portrait of two brilliant women! Both highlights as well as humanizes the Marys' extraordinary achievements. A timely inspiration."—Evie Dunmore, USA Today bestselling author ofPortrait of a Scotsman

“A novel that explores the relationship between mothers and daughters and the human condition, Thornton grips our hearts with prose on love and loss, grief and survival, and the power of art and expression to heal our very souls. An extremely moving and enlightening novel that is an absolute must read!”—Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of The Mayfair Bookshop

“Thornton brings a sense of urgency to the women’s inner lives, as well as a fair amount of insight into their work. Much has been written about the authors, but Thornton does justice to their singular lives.”Publishers Weekly

“Thornton writes lyrically about the two Marys, and readers will sympathize, deeply, with their struggles to find their own paths.”Library Journal

"An extraordinary work of historical fiction, weaving together the journeys of two brilliant thinkers and writers who lived and wrote with a daring that was centuries ahead of their time.... Thornton never disappoints, with that perfect blend of fine scholarship and creative flair that brings her characters, their work, their loves, and their losses vividly to life."
—Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance

“A powerful and sympathetic account of two extraordinary women who fought to influence how 18th century politics and society regarded the roles of women. Stephanie Thornton doesn’t merely breathe life into Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, she brings them blazing onto the page with all their ideals, flaws, and passions. No matter where the chapters are set – in England, Italy, or the terrors of the French Revolution -- this masterful narrative is hard to put down.”—Janie Chang, bestselling author of Dragon Springs Road and The Library of Legends

"A stunning novel about two towering real-life heroines, mother and daughter. Thornton brings Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley to vibrant life as women of searing intelligence and creative power, who make mistakes, take terrible risks, defy society and love immoderately. I feared for them, cried for them, admired them, and will be haunted by them. Thornton's research is meticulous, and her writing is a delight. I loved it and recommend it most highly."—Maggie Brookes, author of Acts of Love and War





The story: From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to Frankenstein, a tale of two literary legends—a mother and daughter—discovering each other and finding themselves along the way, from USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Marie Thornton.

1792. As a child, Mary Wollstonecraft longed to disappear during her father’s violent rages. Instead, she transforms herself into the radical author of the landmark volume A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she dares to propose that women are equal to men. From conservative England to the blood-drenched streets of revolutionary France, Mary refuses to bow to society’s conventions and instead supports herself with her pen until an illicit love affair challenges her every belief about romance and marriage. When she gives birth to a daughter and is stricken with childbed fever, Mary fears it will be her many critics who recount her life’s extraordinary odyssey…


1815. The daughter of infamous political philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, passionate Mary Shelley learned to read by tracing the letters of her mother’s tombstone. As a young woman, she desperately misses her mother’s guidance, especially following her scandalous elopement with dashing poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary struggles to balance an ever-complicated marriage with motherhood while nursing twin hopes that she might write something of her own one day and also discover the truth of her mother’s unconventional life. Mary’s journey will unlock her mother’s secrets, all while leading to her own destiny as the groundbreaking author of Frankenstein.


A riveting and inspiring novel about a firebrand feminist, her visionary daughter, and the many ways their words transformed our world.






Many people are unaware that the author of Frankenstein is the daughter of the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and any reader with a love of literature or feminist history will become immediately intrigued by the connection. 
Stephanie Marie Thornton is a librarian, high school history teacher, and writer whose novels focus on telling the stories of forgotten women throughout history.



  1. Sounds good….adding to your TBR?

    Thanks for stopping.

  2. This book sounds great.
    Love your spotlight picture.