The Atomic Weight of Love

The Atomic Weight of Love

Book - 2017
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In 1941, at seventeen years old, Meridian begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago. She is soon drawn to Alden Whetstone, a brilliant, complicated physics professor who opens her eyes to the fundamentals and poetry of his field, the beauty of motion, space and time, the delicate balance of force and energy that allows a bird to fly. Entranced and in love, Meridian defers her own career path and follows Alden west to Los Alamos, where he is engaged in a secret government project (later known to be the atomic bomb). In married life, though, she feels lost and left behind. She channels her academic ambitions into studying a particular family of crows, whose free life and companionship are the very things that seem beyond her reach. There in her canyons, years later at the dawn of the 1970s, with counterculture youth filling the streets and protests against the war rupturing college campuses across the country, Meridian meets Clay, a young geologist and veteran of the Vietnam War, and together they seek ways to mend what the world has broken.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC :, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing,, [2017]
Edition: First paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781616206901
Branch Call Number: FICTION CHU
Characteristics: 353 pages ; 21 cm


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robertafsmith Mar 04, 2017

Meridian was a bright young scientist who fell in love with her lecturer, moved to a secret military installation on the Mexican border because of his work, and never completed her degree. All this in the 1940-1950's. Bad time to be young, female and bright. This novel flawlessly exposes a time, a place and a love story. Staff Pickles

EscapesToBooks Oct 11, 2016

I loved this story of a female scientist who gives up her dreams of a career to support her husband's. An all too common tale in the first half of the 20th century. While Meridian has given up her aspirations of becoming an ornithologist and struggles to be a good housewife, she hasn't lost her love of birds or her ability to feel passion.

ArapahoeSharon Oct 05, 2016

Loved this story. Meridian the protagonist of the story was a very educated woman who gave up her dreams to let her husband pursue his. But she needed more passion and had an affair. One man gave her passion and love and the other who fulfilled her joy of learning. But when it came to her following her dreams it was her lover who understood what her needs were, in the end.

ArapahoePamelaH Aug 16, 2016

Looking back at a woman's life, and her struggle to balance her marriage to an older professor and her desire to pursue her study of birds. Changes in society don't happen very quickly...

Aug 11, 2016

A great read! If you've watched the series "Manhattan" then there is a deeper understanding of how Meridian and husband Alden lived during the development of the atomic bomb and the secrecy and sacrifices a couple took. The development over time of Meridian's character included a love affair, changes in society over war efforts, and how women transformed - or not. Meridian studied crows which, if you study or read about, is fascinating in itself.
The issues brought out in the book were not too deeply pursued which would have been more interesting but the variety made it more of a pleasure read.

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