Sunday, 13 July 2014

Review: The Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein

Lauren Grodstein's The Explanation for Everything is a beautifully-written story, intertwining the opposing ends of the belief spectrum: science and religion. Through its colourful characters and its exploration of the astounding power of belief to empower or even undo us, Grodstein has crafted a fantastic tale of love, loss, and above all, life. 

Summary: College professor Andy Waite is picking up the pieces of a shattered life. Between his research in evolutionary biology and caring for his young daughters, his days are reassuringly safe, if a bit lonely. But when Melissa Potter—charismatic, unpredictable, and devout—asks him to advise her study of intelligent design, he agrees. Suddenly, the world that Andy has fought to rebuild is rocked to its foundations.

Three characters stray from their own frustratingly certain beliefs, finding either science or God leaking through their reason. I enjoyed seeing how the unknown crept up between science and religion, further spurring the endless debate between evolution and creationism. Simply put, there is no explanation for everything. The world isn't black and white. And perhaps for the time being, that this is the explanation for everything. Maybe the best way is to accept both, or at least, keep an open mind when it comes to the unknown. 

This is a very moving story of human values and belief. Andy is a troubled character who engages in an affair with one of his students, who is haunted by his wife's loss, who struggles with his own beliefs. This is a story of finding and losing god, but more importantly, of finding and losing yourself.

Despite the heavy subject matter of science vs. a creator, the book doesn't preach either side, but rather exposes the readers to both as Andy slowly accepts God into his strictly-science world. The Explanation for Everything is an intelligent, charming, and memorable novel for adults. Regardless of your own beliefs, this is a fantastic novel from Algonquin books.

4 Stars

I received a copy of The Explanation for Everything from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. Thank you to LibraryThing and to Algonquin Books for this exquisite read!

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