Our Tragic Universe
Meg, a 30-something writer trapped in an unfulfilling relationship, and living close to the poverty line, mistakenly reviews a book about immortality. This sets off a chain of events that conspire to change her life, and those of the people around her.This is a book with many themes, one of the most successful of which is overcoming depression, not in a "stop being sad and become happy" way, but in a "finding meaning and joy in the simple things". This makes the first part of the book challenging to read, I think, because there is nothing more boring/depressing than a depressed person. Fighting through to the second part, though, and the characters are easier to like, and read about.It's also a book about stories, writing, writers, etc and can get very "meta-fiction"-y in a way that is sort of interesting, but also I think detracts from the power of the book, the pacing and the "main story". I don't think the author needed to leave it out, necessarily, but I think it could have been done better, maybe a bit more subtly.Finally, it's a book about the Big Questions: the nature of the universe, the meaning of life (and mortality) and also about the nature of reality/science/supernatural phenomena. These are worked into the story in a kind of playful way that is interesting, and a bit heady. Again, it maybe detracts from the "main story" and could have been done more adeptly. But interesting ideas.In sum, I think the author tries to do too much, and doesn't fail, but doesn't quite hit all the right notes with all the parts. Still, very readable and would appeal to those wanting a meditation on those most interesting of topics: the nature of human relationships or of reality.