It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. In lecture halls and laboratories, the model of a universe governed by the Mind of God is at last giving way to something wholly rational, a universe governed by the Laws of Physics. To Fred Fairly, a junior fellow at the College of St. Angelicus, this comes as a great comfort. Science, he is certain, will soon explain everything. Mystery will be routed by reason, and the demands of the soul will be seen for what they are: a distraction and an illusion.Into Fred's orderly life comes Daisy, with a bang, literally. One moment the two are perfect strangers, fellow cyclists on a dark country road; the next, they are casualties of a freakish accident, occupants of the same warm bed. Fred has never been so close to a woman before, and none so pretty, so plainspoken, and yet so, mysterious. Is she a manifestation of chaos, or is she a sign of another kind of order?
As the smitten Fred pursues these questions, Penelope Fitzgerald suggests that scientists can still be mistaken and that the soul must still be answered, even in this age of the atom.
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