The novel shifts between the viewpoints of John, a cosmology professor in a Boston university, and Grace, his mother, jumping backwards and forwards in time to include her death and burial. It isn't so much science fiction as a work of fiction about a scientist and his family. Ms Guiney succeeds in showing what it is that attracts people to the life of scientific inquiry and how spiritual needs can collide with the scientist's commitment to unbending rationalism. It also deals with how such characters are formed by events and relationships in their early lives. It is largely the story of how her protagonist achieves a life balance that allows him to live at peace with himself. There are many references to current scientific theories, particularly the near-mystical concepts that have emerged from quantum mechanics, which is the world in which John lives his life and the terms in which he tries to make sense of it, but the novel's greatest strength I think is in getting us to understand and care about the kind of man we might all too easily dismiss as a remote academic devoid of human feelings. Ms Guiney's characters really live and breathe, and our need to know what is going to happen to them next even turns it into a kind of thriller. Strongly recommended.