The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church is the story of a marriage and a coming of age book about a young woman. I am torn about this book. Parts of it I find moving and absorbing, and I find myself cheering for the main character. Unfortunately, other parts of the book descend in cliched stereotypes (think stereotyped hippies), and I find myself cringing. As an end result, my overall reaction ends up somewhere in the middle.
Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2016/05/the-atomic-weight-of-love.html
Reviewed based on a publisher's galley received through NetGalley
Did you ever have a teacher that had one of the monotone voices that would slowly lull you off to sleep? Well, that is this book. The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church is Meridian Wallace looking back on her life. Meridian excelled in science and math. She loved birds and wanted to pursue a career in ornithology. She gets a scholarship to the University of Chicago. There, Meridian meets Professor Alden Whetstone who is twenty years older than her. His intellect intrigues Meridian. Alden has to leave college (this is during World War II) for a special, top-secret project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The two continue their relationship long-distance and eventually marry. After Meridian graduates she moves to Los Alamos. It is to be just for a year and then she will go to Cornell (she was accepted and received a scholarship) for her graduate degree (you just know that she will never get there). Read The Atomic Weight of Love to see how Meridian's life turns out.
This book was lacking. It needed some life (like a life without color). Meridian's story is one that has been written about many, many times (it is such a cliche). The difference with this book is the addition of the birds (there is information on birds interspersed throughout the novel) and Meridian's study of crows (she continued it in New Mexico). There is also some information on Alden's work on the atomic bomb. I think in order to enjoy a book you have to like the main character. I did not find Meridian or Alden (especially Alden) appealing. Alden felt he was superior to other people because of his intellect. He was controlling and self-absorbed. I give The Atomic Weight of Love 1 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of The Atomic Weight of Love from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.