2007: 145. The Mathematics of Love

“Had I not been there, no account, no print, no evidence of witnesses could make me believe what I saw that day.”

The Mathematics of Love, Emma Darwin


I lied. One more Darwin related book! Well, sort of - this is a novel written by Charles’ great-great-granddaughter, and has nothing to do with evolution, but I thought it was funny that I read this just after my big Darwin kick.*

This is a novel - a first novel - and while it’s not perfect, its pretty darn good.  It interweaves a two stories - the story of Stephen Fairhurst, a veteran of the Napoleanic War who is trying to come to terms with his past and figure out his future, and the unconventional Lucy Durward who helps him to do just that, with the story of Anna Ware, a sixteen year old whose mother has sent her off to live with her uncle at his failed girls school, which just happens to be the same home Stephen lived in years ago.  The two stories twist and turn, and intertwine in ways both credible, and one that is not in-credible, so much as out of place in this otherwise realistic and sedate novel.  

It took me a while to get into the story, but by the end I was hooked.  And while, afterward, I see some flaws in it (for example, the whole treatment of the Cecil character seemed so unbelievable that I thought we were going to find out that Cecil was a ghost or an imp or something), I quite enjoyed the book.  And, because I thought the plot was going one cliched way that it did not go, (having Theo be Anna’s father), I forgave it for going another annoying cliched way (having Theo sleep with Anna - gross much?).    In sum, and enjoyable read.  Not earthshattering, but enjoyable, so I would suggest getting it from the library or waiting for the paperback, but I recommend it


Recommended for:  People who like to read stories about relationships and figuring out ones life, with a little bit of historical fiction thrown in; people who enjoy bildungsromans.


*I actually read a few more things in between, as you’ll see, but I needed to return this book to the library, so I jumped it ahead in the blogging queue.


Date/Place Completed: 9/20/07; D.C.

Categories: Fiction; Library Books

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017