Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Review of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby
Theodore "Mead" Fegley has always been the smartest person he knows. By age twelve, he was in high school, and by fifteen he was attending a top-ranked university. Now at age eighteen, he's on the verge of proving the Reimann Hypothesis, an equation that has mystified mathematicians for years. But only days before graduation, Mead suddenly flees home to rural Illinois. What has caused him to run remains a mystery to all but Mead and a classmate whose quest for success has turned into a dangerous obsession.
As Mead embarks on a new life's journey - learning the family business of selling furniture and embalming the dead - he'll discover a surprising truth: that the heart may know what the head has yet to learn.
When we first meet Mead, he's just turned his back on college, fled, and returned to his hometown where he's regarded with as a genius and an oddball. His family is disappointed and puzzled at his reappearance. As Mead works at the family businesses, we slowly see the sacrifices that his family went through to help him succeed at University of Chicago as well as the adjustments and cost that Mead paid in his search to succeed and to stand out.
Life After Genius is a fun and interesting read. At times sad and poignant, and at times witty and humorous. It's about the cost of personal success and about the strength of love and family. It's a story that will stay with you long after finished the book.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 28, 2009), 400 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Thank you so much to Valerie and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity!