Universe of Two is based on the life of the young mathematician, Charles Fisk (called Charlie Fish in this novel), who was unknowingly recruited to work on the creation of the atomic bomb. Charlie is only eighteen, and recently graduated from Harvard, and it’s not until much later into the secret project when he realizes what exactly he’s doing for the ‘war effort’, and thus struggles with his conscience and the moral dilemma of it all.
Beginning in 1943, this book is, for the majority of the time set during the war. It alternates between Charlie’s perspective in third person, and his musician girlfriend, Brenda’s, in first person, and I found this gave an added dimension to the storyline.
Reading Brenda’s chapters, I found the author really captured her voice. She was very dynamic, if not increasingly frustrating at times!
This is both a love story, as well as a historical narrative tackling a difficult issue in history.
This is my second Stephen Kiernan book, and I look forward to reading more of his! I loved his novel, The Baker’s Secret, which is set in France during WW2, and if you haven’t read that book, I’d recommend it as well!
Universe of Two by Stephen Kiernan
4/5 Stars: Really Liked
Published: August, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Historical Fiction