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Theater of the Stars: A Novel of Physics and Memory
     

Theater of the Stars: A Novel of Physics and Memory

by N. M. Kelby
 
ucienne Kundera, an astrophysicist, has uncovered a black hole as mysterious as the secrets in her life. Lucienne's mother, Hlne, is a scientist as well, who was captured during World War II. She eventually escaped and disappeared, reappearing years later in New Mexico with Lucienne. Hlne claims to have no recollection of these past events, but when she and Lucienne

Overview

ucienne Kundera, an astrophysicist, has uncovered a black hole as mysterious as the secrets in her life. Lucienne's mother, Hlne, is a scientist as well, who was captured during World War II. She eventually escaped and disappeared, reappearing years later in New Mexico with Lucienne. Hlne claims to have no recollection of these past events, but when she and Lucienne visit Paris, the city of Hlne's youth, Hlne is overcome by memories and secrets, and attempts suicide. Lucienne becomes dangerously obsessed with uncovering her mother's past, while at the same time attempting to solve a celestial mystery so dark and dense that its nature cannot be revealed. Theater of the Stars is a finely crafted novel sure to establish Kelby as a storyteller of unique sensitivity and wisdom.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Spellbinding . . . ingenious . . . As psychologically loaded as it is suspenseful . . . penentrating . . . searing.
The Washington Post
Theater of the Stars is neither a mystery nor a romance, but it is both mysterious and romantic. It's a novel about secrets -- secret actions and the secret emotions that provoke them -- with the lethal secrets of nuclear research at its center. — Elizabeth Roca
"Kelby's radioactive spider web of a novel is as psychologically loaded as it is suspenseful, as penetrating in its condemnation of war as in its searing insights into twisted love and fractured families." (Booklist, starred review)
Kirkus Reviews
Second-novelist Kelby (In the Company of Angels, 2001) offers an intricate story of a young woman's attempt to unravel the mysteries of her mother's (and her own) past. Lucienne Kundera grew up in a laboratory in New Mexico and became an astrophysicist. Her mother Hélène was a French scientist who had worked with Madame Curie's son-in-law, so Lucienne was doing nothing more than going into the family business. Now well into middle age, Lucienne teaches at a small college outside Boston and has made a good name for herself in the field, and she has just been awarded a large grant for her research into black holes. But her private life is a mess. Her marriage of 16 years (to another scientist) collapsed under the strain of the workaholic Lucienne's career, and she now finds herself (in her 50s) wondering just who she is. Part of the problem is that she never knew her father-or even who he was: Her mother fled Paris in 1940 and turned up in New Mexico three years later with the newborn Lucienne. What happened in between? Lucienne never has had the opportunity to find out, until she goes many years later to a conference in Paris and brings her mother along (for her first visit since WWII). Hélène is overwhelmed by the rush of memories the city enkindles in her, so much so that she tries to kill herself. At the hospital, Lucienne meets Dr. Assam, a kindly physician assigned to her mother's case who turns out to have more than a professional connection to Hélène. Slowly, Lucienne manages to collect the fragments of a life that wound its way through the fire of occupied France to the heat of Los Alamos and on to the murk of various mental institutions before it split apart like an atom. Animprobable tale on the face of it, but thoroughly likable nevertheless, with a light touch and a rich collection of vivid (sometimes horribly so) characters. Agent: Lisa Bankoff/ICM

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786868582
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
07/16/2003
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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