From the Publisher
“One of the wisest, most compassionate novels about smart people's emotional lives to come around in years.” San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“Greer pinpoints the ‘tiny hidden madnesses in ordinary people' with unerring accuracy, and, in prose littered with sparks, makes palpable the longing for the celestial.” The New Yorker
“[Greer's] carefully crafted sentences can ring with ethereal beauty, and his metaphors are vivid and creative....Greer is a writer to watch; he has a literary style that's worth wrapping around his sensitive perspective on the world.” The Boston Globe
In 1965, a small band of astronomers and their families gathers on a remote South Pacific island to watch Comet Swift, but instead they witness a tragic accident that results in the death of a child. This event triggers momentous change in the lives of the observers, who reunite every six years on the island to comet-gaze. For 25 years, in a tale that is more "tell" than "show," Greer tracks the lives of Eli and Kathy Spivak; the brilliant Denise, wife of Adam and colleague (and then lover) of Eli; and Dr. Swift and his daughter Lydia, who is a miniature astronomer of the heart. As the years go by, Lydia observes the love affairs, academic jealousies, and relationship subterfuges that move across the tropical landscape during the reunions. Like worrying a sore tooth, the scientists revisit personal mistakes and weaknesses, intent on dissecting their ineffectiveness despite their collective intellectual powers. The result is a brainy debut novel by an award-winning short-story writer (How It Was for Me). For larger libraries. Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor District Lib., MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.