Five words from the blurb: maths, memory, affection, riddles, past
People have raved about The Housekeeper and The Professor ever since its release last year, but although I enjoyed reading it I wasn’t bowled over in the way most other readers have been.
The book centres on a maths professor with a short-term memory only eighty minutes long. He vividly remembers events from his past, but all new information is quickly forgotten. This means that the professor never recognises his housekeeper and she must reintroduce herself each morning. Despite this fact she becomes enchanted by him. He shows her the beauty of numbers and forms a strong bond with her son.
This is a beautiful little book, but I think its main charm is the way that it introduces a love for mathematics.
The professor introduces prime numbers, perfect numbers, amicable numbers and many other basic mathematical concepts. The problem was that I was already aware of most of them and so they didn’t produce the magical sense of wonder that they have clearly induced in others.
The writing was simple and engaging, but it wasn’t as emotional as I was expecting. The overall feeling was one of tenderness and I think this is the type of book that you should read if you are in the mood something gentle and heartwarming.
If you can’t imagine enjoying a novel containing mathematics then I urge you to give this book a try, but if you already have a love of numbers it may be a bit too basic.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
Characters, themes and a gently developing plot are perfectly blended. Fleur Fisher in her World
I would never have believed that mathematics could be so seamlessly woven into fiction that I hardly questioned its presence there. Erin Reads
The Housekeeper and the Professor is a very quiet, very subtle book. At the same time, it’s a page-turner, a book you just don’t want to put down. How often do you come across books like this? su [shu]