The Mathematics of Love Paperback
by Emma Darwin
From the Suffolk countryside to the old Basque towns of Spain, Emma Darwin's unforgettable debut tells the astoundingly moving story of Stephen, a veteran of Waterloo, whose suffering and secret lost happiness is transformed by love.
Gorgeously written, fascinating and engrossing, THE MATHEMATICS OF LOVE is a sexy, heartbreaking, glorious novel by a major new literary star.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 480 pages
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 08/03/2007
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780755330645
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by phoebesmum
A well-crafted novel that switches between England and post-Napoleonic Europe of 1819, and the heatwave summer of 1979, the two segments sharing the location of Kersey Hall, Stephen Fairhurst’s Regency home and a temporary refuge for modern-day teenaged Anna, along with themes of loss, abandonment, and violence. Fairhurst is trying to rebuild his life after a war which has left him crippled, but finds little in English country society to keep him there; his travels into Europe bring him deeper understanding of himself and, eventually, lead him to confront a vital piece of his past. Anna has been dumped on an uncle she barely knows while her mother tries to sort out yet another new life for them, only to find herself defending her uncle’s unacknowledged child from their crazed, bitter, violent grandmother. She finds respite and consolation with the exotic European photo-journalists who rent the old stables next door, but this ends in grief when she finds herself falling in love with the much-older Theo. And then there are the old letters she’s given to read – letters from the long-dead Stephen Fairhurst.A good book; just, somehow, not mammothly endearing. The acknowledgement page at the end tells us that it was written for the author’s MPhil in Writing at the University of Glamorgan, and this may account for the slightly impersonal feel.
Review by fyrefly98
Review by gypsysmom
This book was chosen by my work book club for our March 2010 read. It is broken into two stories from two different time periods. One time period is the early 1800s just after the Battle of Waterloo. Stephen Fairhurst, a career soldier, lost a leg at the battle. As a result he was without a career and low on money. He worked as a guide to the battlefield at Waterloo and also in Spain where he had spent some time. Then he received notice that he had inherited a large and successful estate from his cousin. Trying to establish a normal life he is introduced to a young widow. The widow rejects his suit, because of his injury, but he has a friendship with her sister, Lucy.The other timeline is modern and centres on a teenage girl, Anna Ware, who has come to live with her uncle at the home Stephen Fairhurst had inherited. Anna becomes friends with the couple next door who are photographers. Through them she meets someone who gives her the letters that Stephen and Lucy exchanged. Anna escapes her abusive grandmother and drunken uncle through the letters and through her work with the couple next door. A young boy, who may be her uncle's son, travels between the stories. The modern story wasn't particularly successful and the device of the young boy was poorly done. However, the historical story was quite interesting and therefore redeemed the book in my mind.