Plot/Idea: The plot here is complex, enjoyable, and smart. Characters are multifaceted, and the storyline is engrossing as the reader learns details on each of the players and learns how they all fit together.
Prose: Danenbarger is a skilled writer, able to craft nuanced prose laden with meaning and insight. This work is a pleasure to read, full of intricacies in storyline, characterization, and language.
Originality: This is a highly original work full of distinctive and vivid characters, each with their own unique and fateful stories.
Character Development/Execution: Characterization here is top-notch; Danenbarger does a fantastic job depicting flawed yet relatable characters who will resonate with readers.
Date Submitted: August 09, 2022
Right off the bat, it becomes evident that the narrative is rich and complex: Expect frequent jumps in timeline, a flood of new and seemingly strange characters in each chapter, and a deliberate withholding of key plot points, meant to create suspense and enhance the effect of the eventual revelations. The title, of course, refers to the concept in physics of two particles being directly connected even across vast distances, a phenomenon that could well be an analogy for almost all the characters’ relationships to each other. No matter the distance separating them, they keep recurring in, and influencing, each of their lives.
Readers who favor page-turners over literary puzzles will likely find the book a challenge: having each chapter narrated by a different character, in a different voice, with sudden shifts from third-person to first person perspective, is a bold choice and not everyone’s cup of tea. The language alternates between complex—even complicated—and the directly stated (“Vanity is a woman’s punishment for being born”) and piercingly heartfelt. For all the book’s headiness, Danenbarger offers dramatic events and developments, and an empathetic understanding of how we process traumatic events. On occasion he even dares sentimentality. The novel is insightful and has a sensitivity that shines through. Lovers of family sagas, and the relationships that undergird them, will enjoy this book, which is demanding but ultimately very human.
Takeaway: A heady, human family saga for lovers of literary fiction.
Great for fans of: Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Here is an updated overview of world-wide reviews.