A woman questions the mysteries of the universe as she struggles to overcome a dark past.
Krehbiel’s curious novel starts slowly but develops into a rich psychological portrait of a woman questioning the very basis of her reality. The story is framed as a lengthy confession written by Terri Harold, a woman who fled a childhood of sexual abuse to live with her mother and sister in Washington State. Supported by a generous trust, Terri settles into a comfortable life dominated by golf, weekly poker games and her adoring husband, Wayne. Robert, another poker player, is a shy, awkward man who intrigues Terri with his occasional observations about quantum physics. Robert holds onto the esoteric belief that many of the most fundamental principles of physics, the observations that explain the substance of the universe, are completely flawed. Terri is an educated woman and skeptical of Robert’s claims but also charmed by this peculiar man. As she learns more about his oddball theories, she comes to believe that she can use quantum physics to alter her reality and overcome the memory of her abuse. From here the novel follows Terri as she plunges into a series of genre-bending scenarios. The novel shifts between a violent revenge thriller, an elaborate and tender romance, a tale of government espionage and a deep exploration of quantum physics. These wild shifts remain coherent because at the center of them all is Terri, a character who is revealed slowly and complexly. The first-person confessional style of the novel offers readers a deep look into Terri’s mind as the world bucks around her. Not all of the plot diversions are successful. A side story involving Terri’s murderous sister is not given the detail that the serious subject deserves. Also, long sections on physics can become tedious for those without an interest in the subject. But the novel succeeds as a carefully observed character study with an engaging heroine at its center.
Strong characters and a wild plot keep the pages turning.