Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Love Proof

  The Love Proof
Author:  Madeleine Henry
Publication Information:  Atria Books. 2021. 288 pages.
ISBN:  978-1982142964

Book Source:  I received this book through NetGalley free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "Before they met, Jake Kristopher was sitting in the third row of Woolsey Hall, Yale's biggest auditorium, glancing up at the balcony behind him."

Favorite Quote:  "The most valuable insight of my life has been that the best use of time is to love. It's not a sophisticated idea, and that's exactly the point. People overvalue intellect. Life should be lived from the heart ... So, whenever I have the choice, I should spend my time with other people. Even if that means I leave less of a mark on the world at large."

I love the premise of this book. A young prodigy studying time at Yale. A young female prodigy. I love strong female characters and to follow a young scientist seems intriguing. The fact that she is to study time theory is even more fascinating. I want to be caught up in the science and a young woman's pursuit of scientific knowledge. I want to see a young woman balance relationship and career. I want to see a man be present and support of a strong, intelligent woman.

I walk away from this book frustrated because none of that happens and because I do not understand the why. The book focuses so completely on the romance (yes, I know love is in the title). Sophie's pursuit of science becomes an afterthought. In addition, because of the choices depicted, the two main characters end up relatively unlikable. The fact that the book then follows their story over decades without much change means I invest in it even less.

So many unanswered questions! So much unexplored potential!

From the beginning. How and why Sophie gives up on the dream of her lifetime so quickly after meeting Jack? How does an intelligent, coherent young adult turn into a simpering woman with no thought other than of a young man?

To the middle. How does a college romance have such long reaching impact? Why does the dream of love overshadow all other dreams?

To the end. Really? It was all a choice. Why does one individual make the choices, leaving no room for a conversation, a discussion, or a mature relationship between two adults?

This final question becomes my major stumbling block. Love and relationships exist or should exist between adults who are partners in that relationship. In this one, I feel that Jake makes all the decisions without ever consulting Sophie (who, by premise, is a smart young woman). That is annoying. The fact that Sophie lets it be and goes along with his decision seems not in keeping with her character of questioning and study. "A lot of people think science is sterile ... and heartless and boring, but not me. I've always had this feeling that there are eyes in everything that the world is alive down to the atom. But we grow up and start to see things the way we expect. We stop questioning, listening, but I think the universe is always talking to us: through symbols, our guts, or feelings we can't explain. I want to know as much as I can, especially about the big building blocks of reality." This is the same girl who asks no questions in a relationship. Really?

Just, why? The book is a lovely premise with a frustrating execution.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment