The striking face of Ada Lovelace taken from a portrait, stares at the reader from the cover of this fictional story of her early life until her marriage. Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron but her mother left the poet when she was six weeks old fearing for her life. However, Lady Noel Byron did not tell her daughter about her father and Ada spends most of early years trying to find out about him. Ada was a precocious talent, something fostered by her mother who was herself a mathematician at a time when women were not educated and expected just to marry well. The story follows Ada from a child through her teenage years, a brief unconsummated affair to her marriage, uncovering her brilliant developing mind and her meetings with Charles Babbage.
This is a fascinating story told in the first person and showing what a remarkable girl she was, suffering ill health, the knowledge that people always knew who she was, battling her mother’s control but always fascinated by almost everything in the world around her. Ada’s meeting with Babbage, so important for them both does show clearly how the concept of the computer was born. The life of a very privileged girl taken on a Grand Tour for a year, but nevertheless find the excitement of arriving on the continent by train with its different scents and ambience is vividly portrayed, something most girls now will not experience as airports are not so very different one from another!
The author does explain at the end what was fiction and fact within the story but Ada’s early life is imagined so well that she becomes a friend, someone you would really want to know. There are two photographs of portraits of Ada as a young wife and of her father Lord Byron, whose poems are quoted within the text. A book to inspire and enrich, to learn more about Ada, and maybe pursue science and/or the poems of Byron!