Image of How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky: A Novel


Image of How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky: A Novel

Netzer’s sophomore effort may be even stronger than her excellent debut. This odd tale of two astronomers who were planned as soulmates by their mothers is at various points confusing, uplifting and heartbreaking. Superseding recent books — Matthew Quick’s The Good Luck of Right Now and Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, for example — that focus on socially stilted characters falling in love, Netzer’s story manages to make George and Irene painfully human. This story is not one readers will be able to devour quickly, but rather, digest in small doses. Readers will be unable to stop thinking about this book, stunning in its poignancy, long after the last page has been read.

George is an astronomer who believes in gods. Irene is also an astronomer, but she believes only in what she can prove in her experiments. When her research into black holes lands her a job back in her hometown of Toledo, it’s a dream come true, but little does she know it’s also the fulfillment of a destiny set in motion from the moment of her conception. When George and Irene discover they were raised to be soul mates, they’re left to determine whether love can be created by science, or happens regardless of the forces working for or against it. (ST. MARTIN’S, Jul., 352 pp., $25.99)

Reviewed by: 
Cyndy Aleo