Mar 26, 2021
Gifty is a graduate student at Stanford Medical School, using her research to answer questions that have long left holes in her life. Her brother overdosed after developing an opioid addiction, and her mother was left bed-ridden with depression, and she wants to understand the brain in order to prevent this pain in other people. And as she devotes her life to science, she also grapples with her upbringing in the evangelical church. I liked the main character, Gifty a lot, her narration felt calm and almost comforting throughout the novel, with little fluctuations for variation in mood, but overall felt fairly constant. And while I liked her as a character and I wanted to really like the plot of the novel, much like the tone of the novel, the trajectory of the plot felt very flat. I think I could've liked this book because I did really like the writing, but there just wasn't enough happening for me to latch onto. Part of the reason I couldn't quite get into the novel was because I don't relate really at all to the religious aspect. A good part of the book is Gifty grappling with her relationship to Christianity, especially as a scientist, throughout the novel, which is an interesting conversation, but one that I felt particularly disconnected from. I think this book had the potential to be really gripping and moving, and for some people who can relate more deeply it did hit that mark, but because of the really gradual movement of any action or plot and my personal lack of relatability it wasn't for me.