'The Schrödinger Girl'
By: Laurel Brett - Kaylie Jones Books, $16.95)
Description: Garrett Adams, an uptight behavioral psychology professor who refuses to embrace the 1960s, is in a slump.
The dispirited rats in his latest experiment aren’t yielding results, and his beloved Yankees are losing.
As he sits at a New York City bar watching the Yanks strike out, he knows he needs a change.
Verdict: Not my usual go-to for an afternoon's read, I sat down with Laurel Brett's new book 'The Schrödinger Girl' and page by page let it work its typeset magic on me.
Running at 330 pages, it's not a short read, nor an overly long one, so for those akin to the writing of Brett I'm sure you will find it very nourishing.
Set in the '60s, where our central character, Garrett Adams is seated at a bar, staring up at a picture behind it of Miss Rheingold, a Hitchcock blonde elected by twenty-three million votes in 1964 (just before the contest ended), Garrett is already tired of the decade; let alone still hearing about the one before it.
However, at a Columbus Circle bookstore he meets a mysterious young woman, Daphne, who is in the children's aisle reading softly aloud to two enthralled young girls.
Soon Daphne has drawn Garrett into the turbulent and exciting world of Vietnam War protest politics and the music of Bob Dylan and the Beatles. Amongst other things, Garrett then begins to emerge from his self-induced numbness and grief over his father’s death in World War II.
When Daphne evolves into four separate versions of herself, Garrett’s life becomes complicated as he devotes himself to answering questions about character and destiny raised by her iterations.
His obsession threatens to upend his relationship with Caroline, a beautiful art historian, destroy his teaching job, and dissolve his friendship with his old pal Jerry.
The Daphne's seem to exist in separate realities that challenge the laws of physics and call into question everything Garrett thought he knew.
Ergo, and as the book lovingly mirrors from the very same story that the original Daphne was reading upon their meeting, he must decide what is vision, what is science, and what is delusion before he himself falls down the Rabbit-Hole.
About The Author: Laurel Brett, a refugee from the 1960s, was born in Manhattan in the middle of the last century. Her passionate interest in the arts and social justice led her to a PhD and a long career as a community college professor.
She expanded her award-winning dissertation on Thomas Pynchon's work into a groundbreaking analysis, Disquiet on the Western Front: World War II and Postmodern Fiction, which was published by Cambridge Scholars.
She lives in Port Jefferson, New York.
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