In 2002, a Cambridge historian is found dead, floating down the river Cam, a glass prism in her hand, after researching a book about a series of suspicious circumstances surrounding Newton's appointment as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1667. That year, two Fellows died by falling down staircases, apparently drunk; another died in a field, apparently drunk; and a fourth was expelled, having gone mad–leaving vacancies for new appointments and paving the way for Newton’s extraordinary scientific discoveries. When Lydia Brooke, at the request of her ex-lover, the historian’s son, steps in to finish the book, strange shows of light begin to play on the walls, and papers disappear only to reappear elsewhere. And when events escalate to murder, and Lydia’s rekindled romance appears increasingly implicated in the danger, the present becomes entangled with the seventeenth century, with Isaac Newton at the center of the mystery.
I found this so difficult to read. It wasn’t boring per say, I just really couldn’t stand the narrative style. It was so confused and pointlessly obfuscating . There were like a hundred times when I wanted to shake this narrator and be like, JUST GET TO THE POINT! There was never any clarity about who the “you” constantly referred was because it was certainly not me, the reader. The tone just plodded on in a way I simply could not stand. And as we all know 2nd person narration really rarely gets off the ground.
It was a cool story though (dressed in ugly clothing) with potentials and misunderstandings and some occult and the insularity of academia. I felt like there was so much promise that cool story and narrative style could come together harmoniously when the book took excerpts from Elizabeth’s book but it just kept undermining itself. The tone is sort of written in hindsight, sort of written in the present tense and flip flopping. Everything that happened just fell utterly flat.
It was a bit too fractured-I would have preferred more ghost story and less contrived ‘romance’.