Synopses & Reviews
In her third novel Pollack (Breaking and Entering) delivers an absorbing genetic mystery that is couched in a complicated love story and a tale of survival. Jane Weiss a researcher at MIT is on a tireless hunt after the genetic marker for a neurodegenerative disease (a thinly veiled fictionalization of Huntington’s disease called Valentine’s chorea) that killed her mother and now looms over her own life and that of her sister. Fear and dread drive her relentless work so that there’s little time for romance—until she crosses paths with a man who also happens to be at risk for the disease. Love sex and marriage represent risks Jane isn’t willing to take not knowing whether she’s going to succumb to Valentine’s chorea and pass the gene on to potential children. When she’s surprised by love—and certain discoveries in the lab—she must grapple with what it means to live and love fully in the face of risk and loss. If some lesser characters seem stock and certain story lines occasionally drag the novel is redeemed by its clean prose and memorable protagonists. Pollack’s combination of gritty romance and medical suspense will have readers thinking about mortality and the bonds of family long after finishing. Agent: Jenni Ferrari Adler Union Literary. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
A luminous and insightful novel that considers the moral complexities of scientific discovery and the sustaining nature of love. A young researcher at MIT, Jane Weiss is obsessed with finding the genetic marker for Valentine's Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. Her pursuit is deeply personal--Valentine's killed her mother, and she and her freewheeling sister, Laurel, could be genetic carriers; each has a fifty percent chance of developing the disease. Having seen firsthand the devastating effect Valentine's had on her parents' marriage, Jane is terrified she might become a burden on whomever she falls in love with and so steers clear of romantic entanglement. Then, the summer before her father's second wedding, Jane falls hard for her future stepbrother, Willie. But Willie's father also died from Valentine's, raising the odds that their love will end in tragedy.
When Willie bolts at a crucial moment in their relationship, Jane becomes obsessed with finding the genetic marker to the disease that threatens both their families. But if she succeeds in making history, will she and her sister have the courage to face the truth this newfound knowledge could hold for their lives? A Perfect Life is a novel of scientific and self discovery, about learning how to embrace life and love, no matter what may come. Eileen Pollack conjures a thought-provoking, emotionally resonant story of one woman's brilliance and bravery as she confronts her deepest fears and desires--and comes to accept the inevitable and the unexpected.