The Unseen World

Liz Moore. Norton, $26.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-393-24168-6
In her third novel, Moore (Heft) delivers a striking examination of family, memory, and technology. Leaping from the 1980s to the early 2000s, this is the story of young Ada Sibelius and her brilliant computer scientist father, David, who runs a lab at a prestigious college in Boston, working to develop a lifelike artificial intelligence program, ELIXIR. Ada is being raised nontraditionally—educated by David and his lab colleagues, treated as one of the team, without kid gloves—but when David begins showing signs of Alzheimer’s, her life is upended. She is sent to a local junior high school, where she is forced to interact with children her own age, and when David can no longer remain unsupervised, she is taken in by Diana Liston, David’s closest associate. Moore’s exploration of David’s decline is remarkable and heartbreaking, and she shifts gears deftly as the story is complicated further: when Liston tries to become Ada’s legal guardian, questions about David’s identity arise. Since David can no longer answer for himself, Ada takes charge and tries to unravel her father’s cryptic past, leading to the discovery of a hidden file, titled “The Unseen World,” on David’s computer. Mysteries build, and Moore’s gift for storytelling excels. This is a smart, emotionally powerful literary page-turner. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/16/2016
Release date: 07/26/2016
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-393-24500-4
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-393-35441-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5047-5500-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-2438-8
Hardcover - 724 pages - 978-1-4104-9428-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-2436-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-2437-1
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