How to tell Toledo from the night sky

Lydia Netzer

Book - 2014

"Beyond the skyline of Toledo stands the Toledo Institute of Astronomy, the nation's premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. One of these is George Dermont, a dreamer and a man of deep faith, who's trying to prove the scientific existence of a Gateway to God, and speaks to ancient gods and believes they speak back. Its newest star is Irene Sparks, a pragmatist and mathematician invited to lead the Institute's ...work on a massive superconductor being constructed below Toledo. This would be a scientist's dream come true, but it's particularly poignant for Irene who has been in self-imposed exile from Toledo and her estranged alcoholic mother, Bernice. When Bernice dies unexpectedly, Irene resolves to return to Toledo, and sets in motion a series of events which place George and Irene on a collision course with love, destiny and fate.George and Irene were born to be together. Literally. Their mothers, friends since childhood, hatched a plan to get pregnant together, raise the children together and then separate them so as to become each other's soulmates as adults. Can true love exist if engineered from birth? Lydia Netzer's How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky is a mind-bending, heart-shattering love story for dreamers and pragmatists alike, exploring the conflicts of fate and determinism, and asking how much of life is under our control and what is pre-ordained in the stars"--

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Subjects
Genres
Love stories
Published
New York : St. Martin's Press 2014.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
339 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250047021
1250047021
Main Author
Lydia Netzer (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Here is a diverting romp through two generations of well-intentioned friends and lovers as Netzer tells the story of übernerds Irene Sparks and George Dermont and explores the concept of soul mates. Do soul mates actually exist in the real world? Can they, or a tolerable facsimile, be artificially constructed? If such a thing does exist, must both soul mates succumb to their fate? And so at the precise moment that cosmologist Irene hits the absolute pinnacle of her career, her estranged alcoholic mother plummets down a flight of stairs to her death. Is it coincidence that draws Irene back to her hometown, Toledo, Ohio, to bury her mother and accept a dream job at the prestigious Toledo Institute of Astronomy? Is it fate that George, a darling of the TIA, must vacate his office and his assistant in order to accommodate Irene and her new position? Can love happen between this controlling ice queen and this lonely seeker who converses with ancient gods? Netzer, author of the much-heralded Shine Shine Shine (2012), posits these and other questions in her much-anticipated, fabulous second novel, which begins when two 1970s flower children connive to predestine the future marriage of their spawn—a pair of misbegotten twenty-first-century geeks. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

At the Toledo Institute of Astronomy, George Dermont is hoping to prove the scientific existence of a Gateway to God. Clear-eyed mathematician Irene Sparks has come to the institute to direct work on its massive superconductor. Imagine their surprise when they fall for each other, then discover that their mothers raised them together and subsequently separated them in an attempt to engineer true love. Just the kind of touchingly offbeat stuff you could expect from the author of Shine Shine Shine, a big debut that was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, and more. [Page 55]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Netzer's second novel (after Shine Shine Shine) ties together cosmology, astronomy, and astrology into a dense but absorbing meditation on destiny. After making a career-defining discovery, astrophysicist Irene Sparks is leaving Pittsburgh, Pa., to take a job at the Toledo Institute of Astronomy in her old Ohio hometown. Returning to Toledo means confronting her complex relationship with her recently deceased mother, a lifelong alcoholic who worked as a professional psychic. Most of the staff at TIA is indifferent to Irene's arrival or outright unwelcoming, but when Irene meets her new colleague, George Dermont, they immediately feel a powerful connection to one another. But what Irene and George don't know is that 29 years prior, their mothers—both astrology enthusiasts—made a pact to conceive a pair of cosmically ordained soulmates, then separate them so that they can find each other again. The knowledge that they were quite literally made for each other shatters the worldviews for both George (a self-described dreamer with an interest in mythology) and Irene (an empiricist to her core). Although the high-concept astrophysics and philosophy may initially feel daunting, and the story frequently veers from quirky into just plain weird, things pick up speed as well-rounded characters and a few surprising twists are introduced. Whatever their beliefs on fate, readers will root for George and Irene to find their way back to each other. First printing of 100,000 copies. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Beyond the skyline of Toledo stands the Toledo Institute of Astronomy, the nation's premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. One of these is George Dermont, a dreamer and a man of deep faith, who's trying to prove the scientific existence of a Gateway to God, and speaks to ancient gods and believes they speak back. Its newest star is Irene Sparks, a pragmatist and mathematician invited to lead the Institute's work on a massive superconductor being constructed below Toledo. This would be a scientist's dream come true, but it's particularly poignant for Irene who has been in self-imposed exile from Toledo and her estranged alcoholic mother, Bernice. When Bernice dies unexpectedly, Irene resolves to return to Toledo, and sets in motion a series of events which place George and Irene on a collision course with love, destiny and fate.George and Irene were born to be together. Literally. Their mothers, friends since childhood, hatched a plan toget pregnant together, raise the children together and then separate them so as to become each other's soulmates as adults. Can true love exist if engineered from birth? Lydia Netzer's How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky is a mind-bending, heart-shattering love story for dreamers and pragmatists alike, exploring the conflicts of fate and determinism, and asking how much of life is under our control and what is pre-ordained in the stars"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A deeply religious scientist who searches the stars for proof of the existence of God and a pragmatist mathematician overseeing the construction of a massive superconductor fall in love, only to discover that their mothers orchestrated their romance.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A deeply religious scientist who would prove the existence of a Gateway to God and a pragmatist mathematician overseeing the construction of a massive superconductor fall in love only to discover that their mothers orchestrated their romance. By the award-winning author of Shine Shine Shine. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Lydia Netzer, the award-winning author of Shine Shine Shine, weaves a mind-bending, heart-shattering love story that asks, "Can true love exist if it's been planned from birth?"Like a jewel shimmering in a Midwest skyline, the Toledo Institute of Astronomy is the nation's premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. Here, dreamy cosmologist George Dermont mines the stars to prove the existence of God. Here, Irene Sparks, an unsentimental scientist, creates black holes in captivity. George and Irene are on a collision course with love, destiny and fate. They have everything in common: both are ambitious, both passionate about science, both lonely and yearning for connection. The air seems to hum when they're together. But George and Irene's attraction was not written in the stars. In fact their mothers, friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each other's soulmates. When that long-secret plan triggers unintended consequences, the two astronomers must discover the truth about their destinies, and unravel the mystery of what Toledo holds for them—together or, perhaps, apart. Lydia Netzer combines a gift for character and big-hearted storytelling, with a sure hand for science and a vision of a city transformed by its unique celestial position, exploring the conflicts of fate and determinism, and asking how much of life is under our control and what is pre-ordained in the heavens in her novel How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky.