Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Review: An Elegant Solution

Book Overview:  For young Leonhard Euler, the Bernoulli family have been more than just friends. Master Johann has been a demanding mentor, and his sons have been Leonhard's allies and companions. But it is also a family torn by jealousy and distrust. Father and sons are engaged in a ruthless competition for prestige among the mathematical elites of Europe, especially the greatest prize: the Chair of Mathematics at the University of Basel, which Johann holds and his sons want. And now, their aspirations may have turned deadly.
Lured into an investigation of the suspicious death of Uncle Jacob twenty years ago, Leonhard soon realizes there's more at stake than even a prominent appointment. Surrounded by the most brilliant--and cunning--minds of his generation, Leonhard is forced to see how dangerous his world is. His studies in mathematics have always been entwined with his thoughts on theology, and now, caught in a deadly battle of wills, he'll need both his genius and his faith to survive.

My Review: 

Do you like math and numbers?  Complexity and mystery?  
Do you like books that have you turning impalpable corners, walking into dark alleys not knowing what lies ahead, apprehensive yet eager to continue on?
Then this book is for you!

This is my first novel I've read by author Paul Robertson and the feeling I get from this novel, this author was meant to write. His writing style is creative in his choice of words, colorful and expressive.  I am one who loves to feel the characters of a book and his definitely come to life.  He gives them meaning and purpose.

An Elegant Solution centers around the main character, Leonhard Euler, a young math prodigy, who suffers a devastating loss in his family and is brought to live with Master Johann who is a demanding teacher.  He soon finds himself caught up in a web of lies and suspected of murdering Jacob
Bernoulli.   Set in a small town of European community, the elite of all Europe of vying for the position of being the best ~ and will stop at nothing to accuse others of murder.  Poor Leonhard is definitely the scapegoat of many of the scholars and leans on his own experience and expertise in math to find his way out with an elegant solution.  

The twist of math and christianity is unique as it's not normally a combination one would find harmonized.   One of my favorite quotes from the book is Leonhard's grandmother telling him "family is for peace ~ there is trouble enough outside your door." This book is lush with detail and contains players that are both intense and charismatic.  The only flaw with this book is that it is not a light read - don't expect to pick it up and read it in one sitting. In fact, you may have to stop and ponder often what the author means by a phrase or tone.  

Does it help to have a background in math?  Sure, it certainly would but overall, it's still a unique read.  I would certainly entertain another book by this author based on this one.

About the Author: Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and the author of The Heir. He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.

  Book review:  Kelly Santi

*Disclaimer:  I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House, a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review.  Any reflection of such is my own.



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