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Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe

July 14, 2008

Love and Biology at the Center of the UniverseWhen I received an e-mail from the assistant to Jennie Shortridge, author of Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe, I almost fell off my chair. I had just seen a review of her book a few days before and had added it to my Amazon wishlist (which I use to keep track of all the books I would someday like to read). Imagine my surprise to be offered a copy of the book!

Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe is the story of Mira Serafino, a forty-something school teacher who has just found out that her husband Parker has been seeing another woman. With her musician daughter living off at a modern day commune, her widowed father involved in a new relationship of his own and her grandmother who thinks she should just “forgive and forget” Mira is left to pick up the pieces of her broken life by herself.

After so many years of trying to be the perfect wife, mother, teacher, friend and hostess, it’s time for a life altering change. Before anyone realizes what’s going on, Mira drives off with a small suitcase and her dog, heading North, and shortly thereafter finds herself employed at The Coffee Shop at the Center of the Universe in Seattle.

The book flip flops from present day to Mira’s childhood memories, her college days where she first met her husband and even into early motherhood.

While I enjoyed this book, I wouldn’t say I absolutely loved it. I had a very hard time, at the beginning of the book, sympathising with the characters and felt that they lacked a certain amount of depth. I also had a hard time because I didn’t much like Mira. Normally I don’t necessarily have to love a main character to like a book, but I really found myself shaking my head at some of Mira’s choices and felt like this was a character I could not at all identify with. Having said that, once I started part 2 (where Mira ends up an employee of a small coffee shop in Seattle) I felt that the character really began to grow. It was then that we learned more about how Mira is trying to rebuild a life for herself, and the relationship between Mira and her daughter Thea was well played out. Even though I still didn’t care for Mira, I did find myself needing to finish the book, just to see how the book would end.

All in all, even though I won’t be e-mailing any of my girlfriends to say “you just have to read this book!” anytime soon, I do think that it was an entertaining read and probably would be an interesting read for discussion in a book club over a cup of joe at your local coffee shop.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2008 11:44 am

    sounds like an interesting book. I have added it to my list. My TBR column of books continues to grow thanks to wonderful book bloggers like you.

  2. July 14, 2008 12:10 pm

    Stephanie, have you ever checked out Goodreads.com? Great place to keep track of all those “to be read” books! 🙂

  3. July 14, 2008 1:38 pm

    You haven’t much liked the main characters lately, huh?? :>

  4. July 14, 2008 5:16 pm

    Sounds interesting. Thanks for your honest assessment!

  5. July 14, 2008 6:46 pm

    Hmmm, it sounds a bit like Bread Alone:

    http://lesleysbooknook.blogspot.com/2007/01/bread-alone.html

    Thanks for the honest review.

  6. July 15, 2008 9:26 am

    Too bad because the cover is SO beautiful and tempting…

  7. July 16, 2008 3:45 pm

    So it sounds like the “biology” part is a bit of a tease as far as actual biology goes? Too bad… the title had promise.

  8. July 16, 2008 11:53 pm

    I was going to say exactly what Les said about Bread Alone.

  9. July 17, 2008 9:51 pm

    Lesley & Softdrink – actually, based on Lesley’s review of Bread Alone, I mooched it last year (but haven’t had a chance to read it yet)! Thanks for the reminder!

  10. July 22, 2008 8:00 am

    I’m looking forward to reading this. I loved Riding with the Queen.

    Thanks for the review.

  11. August 2, 2008 11:54 am

    Hello all,
    It’s always a pleasure to see readers talking about books, and well, to be honest, my books! It’s true that not every book is for every reader. That said, I hope you will make that decision for yourselves. Recommendations are always nice, but I find they’re a bit like reviews: based on one person’s opinion. I’ve had such an outpouring of email from readers who loved Love and Biology, so . . . you never know! It might be something that resonates with you. And please always feel free to email me directly if you’d like.
    My book recommendation of the month: Church of the Dog, by Kaya MacLaren. Quirky, poignant, and spiritually rich.
    Happy reading, everyone!
    Jennie

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