Monday, August 12, 2013

Phases of Gravity

by Dan Simmons
310 pgs

I had no idea what Phases of Gravity was about until I started reading it. Simmons has written so many books, and across such a wide spectrum of genres, that based on its front cover, I assumed it was one of his science fiction books. I was way off.

Richard Baedecker is a former astronaut who flew to the moon twenty or so years ago during NASA's Apollo space program. But all of the dedication and devotion that he gave to his career at the time came at the expense of his family. Now, separated from his wife, and estranged from his adult son, Richard finds himself going through life with no clear direction and little motivation.

While visiting India to try to reconnect with his son, he meets one of his son's friends, a woman named Maggie, who unintentionally, and without Richard realizing it at the time, ignites a slow burning fire inside Richard which eventually rekindles his love of life and helps put his life back in order.

Phases of Gravity came as a complete surprise to me. I wasn't expecting it to be what it was, and once I started reading it, I wasn't planning on enjoying it as much as I did. The story is slow to develop, and if I had read it when I was younger, I probably wouldn't have appreciated it as much as I did. But by the end, I couldn't have been more impressed. I've never not enjoyed one of Simmons's books, and this one is further confirmation to me of just how good he is.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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