The Theory of Everything by Lisa Grunwald is a thoroughly enchanting novel about the personal transformation of a successful scientist into a spiritual seeker.
Alexander Simon is a 30-year-old physicist and winner of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant." For him living is thinking, and he comes up with "the theory of everything" unifying quantum theory and relativity. Fame follows and soon Alexander is in a funk; neither love from his girlfriend nor visits with his father can pull him back to reality. He also is having dreams in which he asks a guardian angel to touch him.
Then Alice, the mother who abandoned him when he was 11 years old, whooshes back into his life and sets him on a new quest. A believer in astrology and numerology, she sees something deeper in Alexander than his work. Cleo, her friend who dabbles in a smorgasbord of New Age practices, takes Alexander to New Jersey to study alchemy with Harold. He learns to slow down and to listen to the promptings of his heart.
In her second novel, Lisa Grunwald has created an eminently satisfying story which will speak to those whose lives have been shaken to the roots by events beyond their control. With its mix of science and mysticism, rationality and faith, knowledge and wonder, The Theory of Everything is a rare novel that both informs and inspires.