‘Principles of (E)motion’ by Sara Read Book Review

5 minute read

Principles of (E)motion: A STEMinist Must-Read Novel

Dr. Meg Brightwood, a mathematical genius, achieved something remarkable. She solved a problem so challenging that it’s famously known as the Impossible Theorem. Meg is a bit of a loner and often feels anxious, but her latest achievement has changed everything. Everyone is now interested in what she has accomplished, even her mathematician father who’s now eager to understand and share Meg’s groundbreaking discovery.

Meg, who has been a prodigy in a field where sexism and plagiarism are common challenges, decides to present her work publicly to claim full credit for her achievement. However, her anxiety gets the better of her, leading to a severe panic attack that ruins her presentation. Feeling defeated, she returns home and decides to keep her groundbreaking proof hidden until fate brings Meg an unexpected person.

Isaac Wells is a carpenter who dropped out of high school and has had brushes with the law. He also happens to be Meg’s one true love from fifteen years ago. Together, they discover a fragile connection where they can truly love and be loved for themselves, not for society’s expectations.

However just when Meg finds the courage to share her mathematical discovery with the world and goes to retrieve her prized Impossible Theorem, she realizes it has disappeared. Her quest to recover her groundbreaking achievement will challenge not only her incredible intellect but the resilience of two fragile hearts.

Review of Principles of (E)motion

Celebrating Resilience, Love, and Breaking Barriers in a Male-Dominated World

If you liked Bonnie Garmus’ “Lessons in Chemistry,” then I highly recommend Sara Read’s new STEMinist novel.

“Principles of (E)motion” left a profound impression on me, primarily because of its strong feminist elements. The story revolves around Dr. Meg Brightwood, a mathematical genius determined to overcome the gender biases and hurdles of the academic world.

What struck me most was Meg’s resilience in the face of adversity, sexism, and plagiarism. Despite the challenges of sexism in a male-dominated field, Meg refused to let her work be attributed to anyone else. Her determination to shatter the glass ceiling and claim her rightful place in the world of mathematics is nothing short of inspiring.

The novel also explores Meg’s vulnerability, especially in her struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. It humanizes her character, making her even more relatable.

The moment her plans crumble due to a panic attack is a poignant reminder that even the brightest minds can grapple with mental health issues.

But it’s the rekindling of her relationship with Isaac Wells that truly showcases the feminist spirit of the book. Meg and Isaac find love in a space where they can be themselves, unburdened by societal expectations. Their love story beautifully illustrates the idea that true partnership is about supporting each other’s dreams and embracing each other’s flaws.

Meg’s quest to recover her groundbreaking theorem challenges the notion that women can’t excel in STEM fields. Her relentless pursuit of recognition for her work mirrors the real-life struggles of many women in STEM, making her a symbol of empowerment.

Meg Brightwood’s journey is a testament to the power of breaking down barriers and pursuing one’s dreams, regardless of gender. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking inspiration from a remarkable female protagonist.

Find a copy of this Feminist Romance from your favorite retailer.

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What Other People Are Saying About Principles of (E)motion

“An incredible STEMinist read, Principles of (E)motion takes us on an emotional and relatable journey of self-love and learning that you do deserve the best things life has to offer.” – Julie Dam

“This was my first book from this author. It very likely will not be the last. Very much recommended.” – Jeff Sexton

“Every so often a book comes along that hits just the right points for me, and Sara Read’s Principles of (E)motion delighted me from the very first page.” – Author Shelley Burbank

“Poignant and compelling… A delightfully mathematical take on the opposites-attract paradigm.” – Kirkus

About the Author – Sara Read

Prior to venturing into fiction writing, Sara Read earned a Women’s Studies degree from U.C. Santa Cruz. However, her foray into the conventional nine-to-five world was short-lived. She swiftly transitioned to rural Virginia, where she embarked on an apprenticeship to learn the craft of flute-making and became a skilled traditional fiddle player. After several years and the arrival of two children, she decided to further her education by pursuing a master’s degree in nursing. As a cancer survivor herself, Sara now finds deep fulfillment in her role as a nurse, providing compassionate care to cancer patients.

Sara made her debut in the literary world with “Johanna Porter is Not Sorry,” which was published in March 2023. Her latest work, “Principles of (E)motion,” was released in January 2024. Sara’s talent for crafting short stories has been recognized with publications in esteemed literary outlets. Such as The Missouri Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, and Zone 3 Press. Her contributions have even earned her a nomination for a Pushcart Prize.

Beyond her writing pursuits, Sara is actively involved as a co-host of #MomsWritersClub, a vibrant community on Twitter/X and a YouTube channel.

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Tanya M.