In 1965, on a small island in the South Pacific, a group of astronomers gather to witness the passing of a comet, but when a young boy dies during a meteor shower, the lives of the scientists and their loved ones change in subtle yet profound ways. Denise struggles for respect in her professional life, married Eli becomes increasingly attracted to Denise and her quixotic mind, and young Lydia attempts to escape the scientists’ long-casting shadows. Andrew Sean Greer’s remarkable and sweeping first novel is an exploration of chances taken and lost, of love found and broken, and of time’s subtle gravitational pull on the lives of everyday and extraordinary people.
“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