As someone that enjoys historical fiction and non-fiction I have been looking forward to reading this book about Ada Lovelace. My knowledge of Lovelace was minimal before reading this. All I truly knew about her was that she was the child of the renowned poet, Lord Byron. As information about him is filled with scandal, from his womanizing ways and possible bisexuality, to the possible relationship with his half-sister, it was easy to assume this would be a fun and fascinating read.
A long prologue starts things off and you soon learn that Ada is born in the midst of a custody battle. Her estranged parents offer little in the way of worldly guidance, with a mother that was overbearing and unnecessarily protective and an absent father, whether by force or choice. Ada’s story, especially in the beginning, is one of unfortunate sacrifice. With her mother holding a tight grasp on her life, Ada is unable to truly find herself. In fact, much of the time her relationships are relegated to her mother and the created relationship with her father that came about by her reading his work and listening to the gossip of his life.
Despite all of her struggles growing up Ada Lovelace holds the distinction of being a mathematical genius and the first female computer programmer. Jennifer Chiaverini is known for her historical fiction and while Lovelace was a real figure, some liberties were taken as not many specifics were known about her.
Is Enchantress of Numbers Recommended?
I found The Enchantress of Numbers to be a very slow read. It was interesting and there were moments of engrossing excitement that helped to move the pages forward, but often it was more of a slow burn. I wanted to feel closer to the characters, especially Lovelace, and I’m not sure that moment ever came. I will say that I’m sure this won’t be the best thing I’ve read all year. It’s good for basic enjoyment, but if you’re looking for a page turner, this isn’t it.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.