About this book: Like a jewel shimmering in a Midwest skyline, the Toledo Institute of Astronomy is the nation’s premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. Here, dreamy cosmologist George Dermont mines the stars to prove the existence of God. Here, Irene Sparks, an unsentimental scientist, creates black holes in captivity.
George and Irene are on a collision course with love, destiny and fate. They have everything in common: both are ambitious, both passionate about science, both lonely and yearning for connection. The air seems to hum when they’re together. But George and Irene’s attraction was not written in the stars. In fact their mothers, friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each other’s soulmates.
When that long-secret plan triggers unintended consequences, the two astronomers must discover the truth about their destinies, and unravel the mystery of what Toledo holds for them—together or, perhaps, apart.
About the author: (from the author herself) I was born in Detroit and raised by two public school teachers. We lived in Michigan during the school year, and at an old farm in the hills of western Pennsylvania during school vacations. My world revolved around horses, music, and books. I went to college and grad school in the midwest, met my husband and got married in Chicago, and then moved to Norfolk when we decided to have kids. We have two: a boy and a girl. I homeschool them and taxi them to orchestra rehearsal, the karate dojo, the pony farm, and many music lessons. At our homeschool co-op I teach literature, and I love to travel, knit, play my electric guitar, and of course read.
Judging this cover: A great match for the story: colorful and off-kilter.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: R. And then some. For all the reasons you might suppose.
Reminds me of… Joshilyn Jackson’s Someone Else’s Love Story, with shades of Herman Wouk’s A Hole in Texas. Go figure.
You’ll want to buy this book if … you enjoy a novel with an utterly original premise, offbeat main characters and colorful prose.
Why did I read this book? For St. Martins Press for review
Would I read another by this author? I am curious about her debut, Shine, Shine, Shine, though if it’s as racy as this one, I wouldn’t be able to read it.
Why this story matters: It explores the notion of soul mates and true-and-only love.
My take: This off-beat novel with its eccentric main characters was a lot racier than I expected. I wish it wasn’t so. I didn’t feel the explicitness was necessary, and I would have enjoyed this highly original concept more if it were a little more PG. Obviously it was written with a particular audience in mind. Unfortunately, that audience wasn’t me.
So, seeing where it was heading, I took a detour and caught up with the characters at the end–where they seemed a lot happier, by the way, and a lot less maladjusted.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
After words: Lydia Netzer on soulmates, arranged marriages, and How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky
Lydia Netzer on Toledo and How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky