A Perfect Life: A Novel

A Perfect Life: A Novel

by Eileen Pollack


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A luminous and insightful novel that considers the moral complexities of scientific discovery and the sustaining nature of love.

A young researcher at MIT, Jane Weiss is obsessed with finding the genetic marker for Valentine’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. Her pursuit is deeply personal—Valentine’s killed her mother, and she and her freewheeling sister, Laurel, could be genetic carriers; each has a fifty percent chance of developing the disease. Having seen firsthand the devastating effect Valentine’s had on her parents’ marriage, Jane is terrified she might become a burden on whomever she falls in love with and so steers clear of romantic entanglement. Then, the summer before her father’s second wedding, Jane falls hard for her future stepbrother, Willie. But Willie’s father also died from Valentine’s, raising the odds that their love will end in tragedy.

When Willie bolts at a crucial moment in their relationship, Jane becomes obsessed with finding the genetic marker to the disease that threatens both their families. But if she succeeds in making history, will she and her sister have the courage to face the truth this newfound knowledge could hold for their lives? A Perfect Life is a novel of scientific and self discovery, about learning how to embrace life and love, no matter what may come. Eileen Pollack conjures a thought-provoking, emotionally resonant story of one woman’s brilliance and bravery as she confronts her deepest fears and desires—and comes to accept the inevitable and the unexpected.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062419187
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/10/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 909,668
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Eileen Pollack holds a B.S. in physics from Yale and an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of two story collections, two previous novels, and two books of nonfiction, and has received fellowships from the NEA, the Michener Foundation, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation. Her work has been included in the Best American Short Stories and the Best American Essays series. She is a former director and current faculty member of the Helen Zell MFA program in creative writing at the University of Michigan. She divides her time between Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York City.

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