Evidence of Things Unseen
Simon & Schuster, 2003; 400 pages.
This novel was a SHOCK to me. A shock because I had never heard a word about it and frankly didn’t expect it to be very good. I have a bad habit that way, maintaining low expectations for novels that I haven’t heard about. Evidence of Things Unseen is an excellent reminder to myself to not be so pre-judgmental about unknown books. Because this book was amazing.
I wouldn’t have changed a single character, a single line in this entire novel. The writing is exquisitely beautiful and simple and the story is unlike anything that I have read this past year. Marianne Wiggins tells us the story of Fos, recently returned to Tennessee from the trenches of France. Fos is fascinated with X-rays, electricity, and bioluminescence. On a trip to the North Carolina coast to study a meteor shower, he meets and falls in love with Opal. Their romance and the trajectory of their life together form the structure of this gorgeous, poetic novel.
I could tell you all of the details of the story, the small flights of the plot, but such a recounting would cheapen the beauty of this book. At its heart, Evidence of Things Unseen is a love story: love between a man and a woman, between people and scientific “progress,” between parents and their child. I just don’t even know what to say about it, except that it is beautifully and perfectly written and I am grateful for it.
3 thoughts on “Top 10 books I read in 2012: Evidence of Things Unseen (#7)”
I love reading your book lists and reviews. I have to ask– are you a lender of books?
Thanks, Natalie! I appreciate it. I confess: I don’t often lend out my books, since almost everyone who borrows a book never returns it. Or, in other words, I lend books I don’t care about and don’t expect to see again. That said, I read many of this year’s favorites from the library!
I am reading this book right now and really enjoying it. Thanks for recommending it. All the best in 2013!