Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer Book Review

The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer is a charming book.  Alexander, a science professor, returns home when his mother dies.  But his mother is no ordinary mom.  Instead, she's a great mathematician rumored to have been cheating death long enough to solve an unsolvable math problem.

As when any great person dies the throngs of mourners threaten to overwhelm the family.  Especially when rumors of a great mystery solved and the answer hidden nearby break out.

What happens is part farce and part a touching history of a family as explained by a son.  Immigrants all, from Russia where they were persecuted for being Jewish, the coming of age story is more a second coming.  Older, and looking back on his life, Alexander re-examines his family and his life.

Not pursuing math as a career, but rather science, Alex feels like he disappointed.  With a broken marriage, perhaps spoiled by his mother, and a long lost daughter, he has a lot to question.  Then their are his relationships with the rest of his family.

Beautifully done.

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