Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Book Review: A Theory of All Things

On Librarything.com, you can sign up to be an Early Reviewer for books that will be sold to the public in a couple of months. It's a great way to get free books, but it also let's me broaden my reading horizons. What's really fun, is that I sign up and then forget about it. It's a total surprise when I get a package in the mail!

I received A Theory of All Things written by Peggy Leon yesterday in the mail and finished it today. The book is about a family that has been splintered by two events in their past, and now they have to deal with a parent who has Alzheimer's. In the beginning, I was put off by the technical, scientific analogies by the genius son, but as I got into the book, it was obvious that this was who Mark was and how he dealt with life, just as his younger siblings used art. The oldest sister is the caretaker for the family, who keeps her brood safe and is the constant in their lives. But as the story progresses, all of them let others into their lives and learn to move forward.
The siblings in the book weren't anyone that I could make a personal connection with since they were so out there artistically with an endless supply of money to fund their art. But I loved the interactions of the characters and the emails that were sent between them. Having been close to a relative with Alzheimer's, I thought that Peggy Leon's writing captured the disease as it is, devastating with moments of heartbreaking clarity and even humor. She even caught the undercurrents that happen in a large family when there is a family member with a disease. I enjoyed the book and wished that I hadn't read it so fast!


  1. Sounds interesting! Neat project too!

  2. This sounds like it is right up your alley. The reviews, if not this particular book :-). This particular book seems like it would touch a painful spot for a lot of readers. Like you, we might not identify with the rich, artistic characters. But, many of us have dealt with Alzheimer's disease in the family.


Any thoughts or musings of your own to add?