This beautifully written, debut novel tells of Rene Decartes’ relationship with Helena. Atmospheric descriptions of the Netherlands allow the reader to share Helena's joy at being there. She is determined, resilient and brave and her relationship with her daughter, Francine, brings out her sense of fun. Descartes, on the other hand, appears arrogant and aloof except in relation to Francine. Why didn't they marry? Read the novel and find out.