The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

The Solitude of Prime Numbers image

 

[E-book. First published 2008]

 

‘The Solitude of Prime Numbers’ is endearing because the characters are endowed with personalities that make them feel as human as you and me.

 

Following the stories of Alice and Mattias, we see how their shattered lives converge over a lifetime. Alice starts off as a little girl tormented by her father – something that wedges itself in her psyche with physical manifestations that will affect her life and relationships. Mattias, as a young boy, left his twin sister in the park because he was ashamed of her and spends his life dealing with the guilt and effect his actions have on his family.

 

The two become friends, experiment with romance – come together and fall apart for years as they become adults carrying the burden of their childhood traumas. Their connection is one that seems not to be in spite of their respective issues, but one that drew them together because of them.

 

This book is a dark, rich tale that explores our yearning for understanding and companionship, although this often comes at a cost. It acknowledges the varying degrees of damage in us all; how lonely it can be to live in a world where it feels like few can relate; the mechanisms we implement in order to overcome our pain; the brief instances of hope that touch our lives. It is a celebration of the connections that bind us all and the differences that wrench us out of the realms of ‘normal’ into the extraordinary.

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