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Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her onetime love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She's tormented by her failed research - and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life.
But there's another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles and with whom she can't make a life before finding success on her own. Eventually the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future and herself behind. And for the first time, she's confronted with a question she won't find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want?
Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry - one in which the reactions can't be quantified, measured, and analyzed, one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sandy Toes on 08-13-17
Having a tiger mother can really mess you up!
Where does Chemistry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I enjoyed it...having been a chemistry major myself, I identified with the experiences and emotions that surprised and overwhelmed the nameless main character.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I liked Eric for his steadfastness and calm. We all need someone like this in our lives,
Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan – was your favorite?
Julia Whelan did a great job of expressing the everyday experiences and emotions of the main character in a straightforward manner without being deadpan.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I laughed out loud at the main character because she was so honest in describing her everyday experiences and the events that happened to her. Spoiler Alert. .... My heart broke for her when it became obvious that she would not achieve success in her chosen academic path and then the resulting emotionally devastating fall out. I loved that she discovered her true talent.....being able to foster understanding of math and science topics as a tutor.
Any additional comments?
Audible is the best thing since sliced bread.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful