The atomic weight of love book club questions

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the atomic weight of love book club questions

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviators Wife and Loving Frank, this resonant debut spans the years from World War II through the Vietnam War to tell the story of a woman whose scientific ambition is caught up in her relationships with two very different men.

For Meridian Wallace - and many other smart, driven women of the 1940s - being ambitious meant being an outlier. Ever since she was a young girl, Meridian had been obsessed with birds, and she was determined to get her PhD, become an ornithologist, and make her mothers sacrifices to send her to college pay off. But she didnt expect to fall in love with her brilliant physics professor, Alden Whetstone. When hes recruited to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to take part in a mysterious wartime project, she reluctantly defers her own plans and joins him.

What began as an exciting intellectual partnership devolves into a traditional marriage. And while the life of a housewife quickly proves stifling, its not until years later, when Meridian meets a Vietnam veteran who opens her eyes to how the world is changing, that she realizes just how much she has given up. The repercussions of choosing a different path, though, may be too heavy a burden to bear.

Elizabeth Churchs stirring debut novel about ambition, identity, and sacrifice will ring true to every woman who has had to make the impossible choice between who she is and who circumstances demand her to be.
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Last Post. Have you ever felt stranded between the world of women and that of men? Do women and men fall into gender groups at social gatherings among your friends?
Elizabeth J. Church

Book Review: The Atomic Weight of Love, by Elizabeth J Church

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Rate this book. Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Algonquin Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions. A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U. Reader Reviews.

By no means an uncommon decision at that time, we follow Meri through the years as she struggles with the balance of her own needs and living the life Alden has chosen for them. Discussion: The writing is exceptional. One of my favorite examples is when Meri first sleeps with Alden:. It told me something I refused to acknowledge: Alden would always be too careful. There would be no transport for me, not with a man who was that precise in the face of impending passion. Passion walks the edge of control, teasing. It looks down at the rocks in a canyon and contemplates plunging, taking one fatal step to the right.

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In her sweeping debut novel, Elizabeth J. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era. In , 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,. 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.

In , Meridian Wallace begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago, determined to prove worthy of the sacrifices her mother made for her to enable this to happen. Although dating a student similar in age she falls in love with her physics professor Alden Whetstone who is twenty years older than her. I agreed to a one year trial period. When in she meets Clay, a young geologist and veteran of the Vietnam War, her life gains new meaning and she begins to question her life with the professor. This is the first novel written by Elizabeth J Church, who has practised law for more than thirty years. She was born in Los Alamos and still lives there now and her writing reflects her intimate knowledge of a fascinating area.

Church, Algonquin Books pp. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era. In , 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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Roxanne G. says:

    Reading guide for The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church - discussion guide for book clubs.

  2. Hedvige B. says:

    Review of “The Atomic Weight of Love” by Elizabeth J. Church | Rhapsody in Books Weblog

  3. Tammy P. says:

    Discuss The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church in an Online book club. Discussion Name Book Club Discussions. Topic Name The Atomic .

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