My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I bought this book for my mom’s birthday because i was attracted to the cover and the title, and I knew she’d loan it to me after she read it. The story was written by an Italian physicist and translated to English, which is also interesting to me as I’m an Italiophile.
The story follows two characters, Alice and Mattia, each of whom survive a childhood trauma that leaves scars and alters their behavior and their life paths. Near the beginning of the book, Alice is in a serious skiing accident while training for competitive downhill skiing. She never quite learns to trust anyone after the incident, and develops anorexia as a way to control her Universe. Mattia loses his twin sister, and starts a lifelong habit of mutilating himself. They become friends, and they each recognize the intense feelings they have for each other, but neither of them acts.
The characters are well-developed; each is a lonely, prime-number-type entity unto himself or herself. The story is like a deep study of loneliness and trauma, and the question of whether or not one causes the other and how a person might deal with life events.