Monday, December 11, 2017

Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace

Hello!  Mistletoe Murder by Karen MacInerney is out today.  It is the fourth book in A Dewberry Farm Mystery series.  Lucy Resnick is looking forward to a cozy Christmas until the Randy Stone turns up dead with a knife in his back and a sprg of mistletoe in his hair!  The sheriff picks his culprit and does not wish to look any further.  It is up to Lucy to get justice for Randy.

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini is novel about the life of Ada Lovelace.  Augusta Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, is the only child of Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella.  Not long after Ada was born, Annabella left her husband (Lord Byron had mental problems) and returned to her parent’s home.  Annabella does everything in her power to make sure the Byron blood does not destroy Ada’s life.  Fairy tales, make believe, poetry, passion (for life, ideas) and imagination are banned while mathematics, science, and languages are stressed in Ada’s education regime.  We follow Ada through her lonely childhood into adulthood with her overbearing mother and unorthodox education.  While in London during her first season, Ada meets Charles Babbage.  Ada is fascinated with Babbage’s Difference Engine and the plans he has for the Analytical Engine.  Ada wants to do what she can to help Babbage realize his dream.  She continues to study advanced mathematics, meets the love of her life, discovers the reason her parent’s marriage fell apart, and continues to pursue the development of Babbage’s inventions.  Will Ada be able to assist Babbage in achieving his dream? 

Enchantress of Numbers is well-researched and contains interesting information on Ada’s life (if you make it that far into the book).  The writing reminded me of a boring textbook (very dry).  I loved Jennifer Chiaverini’s The Elm Creek Quilts series which is well-written, has a good pace, and wonderful characters.  Enchantress of Numbers did not feel like it was written by the same author.  Part of the problem was the first-person narrative.  The story is first told from Annabella’s perspective and then from Ada’s point-of-view.  She shares her reminisces starting with infanthood (which is unbelievable).  Can any person remember being a baby especially with such detail?  It reminded me a diary where Ada tells us how her mother controls her life (never meets her father, told her blood is bad).  Any time Ada gets close to a caretaker, they are fired.  If she shows an interest in a subject (like making wings), it is discouraged.  The characters came across as flat.  They were not brought to life.  Ada (as well as her mother) is an unlikeable protagonist.  I find it difficult to read a book when I do not like the main character.  The mathematics sections will put many readers (non-mathematicians) to sleep (great if you suffer from insomnia).  They dragged on for pages.   The book was too long (it seemed to go on forever) and it was overly detailed.  Many times, I wanted to abandon my pursuit of completing this Enchantress of Numbers. There were a couple of interesting sections, but they were few and far between.  I’m sorry, but I was not enchanted by Enchantress of Numbers.

Thank you for visiting today and reading my latest review.  I will be featuring A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert tomorrow.  It is the first book in A Blue Ridge Library Mystery series.  I hope that you have a very special day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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