What it comes down to is stated in the book jacket: "Ultimately, Lucia (the Polish immigrant cook/housekeeper) is placed directly in the crosshairs of faith verses science - what is more real, the glowing substances of the Curie laboratory or the glowing visions that surround the medium during her seance?"
Like The Gentleman of Moscow and here there be dragons, this is definitely a very well-written book. Here are just a couple of passages, after this quote by Henri Poincare (mathematician, physicist, engineer, philosopher) in 1906:
"It matters little what god one believes in: It is the faith and not the god that makes miracles."
"They cut up vegetables, sorted legumes, grated ginger, and chopped garlic, but they never made anything as delicate as a sauce."
"How thrilling this dance was, the choreography of near misses, unintended caresses, and vague possibilities, and how impatient she was for the next one to begin."
I'm a big fan of historical fiction. On the non-fiction side, I enjoyed learning about Maria and Pierre Curie, their scientific experiments, and their lifestyle. It's pretty impressive how Susan learned enough to write about it. On the fiction side, I thought she did a good job of integrating Lucia with the Curies, the famous real-life medium, Eusapia Palladino, and the journalist (with a little bit of romance thrown in). If You Are There is an interesting book. And even though I saw her at her book launch a couple of weeks ago, I'm looking forward to having her at the RBC. I'm sure our members will find her and her book very interesting.
UPCOMING POST: This Friday I will post the list of 3.5s from my 1st 6 years of blogging. That will complete all lists - for now.