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The Mathematics of Love

by Emma Darwin

Two people, two different lives, centuries apart - the Major and Anna. The novel weaves together their two lives through a series of letters. Coincidences burrow their way through the story - the innocent young boy afraid of his own shadow and the brutality of Anna's grandmother versus the cruel Battle of Waterloo. The movement of time and countries was easily worked into the novel - something not all authors can do. Not a fast paced novel but was a pleasure to read. The description of the summer season makes me long for a hot summer of our own.

Extract

I opened the drawer and put the plasters away, and there were Stephen's letters. How did his story go on?

My father was the 3rd son of the 4th son of a landowner of whom I for years knew only that he had held extensive property in the county of Suffolk . . .

The writing got easier and the reading got easier; it was like my eyes learnt his handwriting and taught my mind to understand him, while my mind learnt his words - his sentences - and taught my eyes to read them, until I didn't really think about reading them any more than you think about making your legs move when you want to walk down the road. I just read. It was like he was in the room with me, and I was listening to his voice. Miss Durward must have felt like that, reading like listening, so she could draw her pictures.

Parallels

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Dancing into Battle - A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo by Nick Foulkes
 

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