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July 1, 2014 / Leslie

Review: How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky

How To Tell Toledo From The Night SkyHow to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky
by Lydia Netzer

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: July 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover | 352 pages
Rating: 4 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

George and Irene are on a collision course with love, destiny and fate. They have everything in common: both are ambitious, both passionate about science, both lonely and yearning for connection. The air seems to hum when they’re together. But George and Irene’s attraction was not written in the stars. In fact their mothers, friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each other’s soulmates. When that long-secret plan triggers unintended consequences, the two astronomers must discover the truth about their destinies, and unravel the mystery of what Toledo holds for them—together or, perhaps, apart.

My Thoughts:

George and Irene were destined to fall in love. Their astrologer moms came up with a plan to get pregnant at the same time, give birth on the same date, raise their children together and then separate them so they would one day find each other again as soulmates.

Twenty-nine years later:

Irene Sparks is an astrophysicist. In her Pittsburgh lab she has just made an extraordinary scientific breakthrough creating black holes and has been offered a prominent position at the Toledo Institute of Astronomy. At the same moment Irene makes her scientific discovery, her mother suffers a fatal fall down the stairs.

George Dermont is an instructor at the Toledo Institute of Astronomy. He has just been told to move out of his lab. They have given it to Irene. They gave her his lab assistant too. George doesn’t seem very upset and wonders if Irene has brown hair. When he does meet her, the connection between the two is immediate. And Irene has brown hair.

Joining George and Irene are a cast of peculiar characters ranging from the baffling to the bizarre. In between chapters on George, Irene, and their budding romance, we move back in time 29 years to learn about their births, and how their moms, Sally and Bernice, came up with, and implemented, a plan for their children to be soulmates. In the present Irene must reconcile her feelings about her estranged, and now deceased, alcoholic mother now that she has moved back to her childhood home in Toledo.

To call this book quirky is an understatement. Original and clever, it’s a magical journey of romance and mysticism woven together with science, mathematics and astronomy. At times baffling and often unfathomable, there was much to like about George and Irene’s tale. And while I enjoyed the book, I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself into the magical aspect of predestined love determined by the stars. Perhaps the reality of hard science was getting in my way.

For those looking for something different and open to the unusual, this is a book worth picking up.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Jul 1 2014 7:46 am

    I have a feeling I’ll have the same issues you did but I still want to give the book a try. The author is coming here soon!


  2. Mary / Jul 1 2014 9:55 am

    Interesting premise – I might give it a try.


  3. Sheila (Book Journey) / Jul 1 2014 11:12 am

    Quirky sounds like a good fit for the book with your description – the cover even makes me think of quirky 🙂


  4. stacybuckeye / Jul 12 2014 8:37 pm

    Sounds too originial to pass up!


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