"It is a rare book that is as scientific as it is magical and as magical as it is scientific. This is that book." -Karen Joy Fowler In the early 1900s, young Lucia Rutkowski escapes the Warsaw ghetto to work as a kitchen maid in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Paris. But, too talented for her lowly position, Lucia is thrown out on the street. Her only recourse is to take a job working for a pair of married scientists-disorganized, rather poor, and so distracted by their work that their house and young child are often neglected. Lucia soon bonds with her eccentric employers, watching as their work with radioactive materials is noticed by the world, and as they rise to fame as the great Marie and Pierre Curie. Then, when Eusapia Palladino, the world's most famous medium, arrives in Paris, Lucia's employers make it possible for to attend Eusapia's gatherings-and Lucia eventually falls under the medium's spell, leaving the Curie household to travel with her to Italy. Ultimately, Lucia is placed directly in the crosshairs of faith versus science, as she must decide what is more real-the glowing substances of the Curie laboratory, or the glowing visions that surround the medium during her seance-in this compelling historical novel by the celebrated author of The Little Russian. "This splendid novel is about discovery, in its many forms: in science, in love, in ambition, in connection; it celebrates the intersection of the natural world and faith . . . Unforgettable." -Karen E. Bender, finalist for the National Book Award
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