How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky

Lydia Netzer. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-04702-1
Netzer’s second novel (after Shine Shine Shine) ties together cosmology, astronomy, and astrology into a dense but absorbing meditation on destiny. After making a career-defining discovery, astrophysicist Irene Sparks is leaving Pittsburgh, Pa., to take a job at the Toledo Institute of Astronomy in her old Ohio hometown. Returning to Toledo means confronting her complex relationship with her recently deceased mother, a lifelong alcoholic who worked as a professional psychic. Most of the staff at TIA is indifferent to Irene’s arrival or outright unwelcoming, but when Irene meets her new colleague, George Dermont, they immediately feel a powerful connection to one another. But what Irene and George don’t know is that 29 years prior, their mothers—both astrology enthusiasts—made a pact to conceive a pair of cosmically ordained soulmates, then separate them so that they can find each other again. The knowledge that they were quite literally made for each other shatters the worldviews for both George (a self-described dreamer with an interest in mythology) and Irene (an empiricist to her core). Although the high-concept astrophysics and philosophy may initially feel daunting, and the story frequently veers from quirky into just plain weird, things pick up speed as well-rounded characters and a few surprising twists are introduced. Whatever their beliefs on fate, readers will root for George and Irene to find their way back to each other. First printing of 100,000 copies. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/26/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 519 pages - 978-1-4104-7257-1
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-250-04746-5
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4668-4779-8
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-1-4272-4415-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4272-5513-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4272-4416-1
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