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January 9, 2024

Principles of Emotion by Sara Read ~ a Review

by MK French

Math prodigy Dr. Meg Brightwood solved the Impossible Theorem. She's been a recluse and plagued with anxiety for years and was dismissed by academia. The field is sexist and often full of plagiarism, so Meg plans to publicly prove that she solved it. When a panic attack derails her plans, she locks away her proof. Carpenter Isaac Wells is on the run and once was the love of Meg’s life. While they reconnect, Meg's answer to the Impossible Theorem is missing. Proving her authorship will test her as well as the burgeoning relationship.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel Principles of Emotion by Sara Read
January 2024; Graydon House; 978-1525836657
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); women's fiction

Meg spent fifteen years with her grandmother due to her anxiety and panic attacks, caregiving as her grandmother's health worsened. Her father and sister didn't help, and neither have sympathy for Meg's panic attacks or living situation and want her out of the house to sell the property to developers. Her theorem has the potential to make turbulence predictable, lowering the costs of fuel for flights and shipping, making her proof incredibly valuable. Her father cares more about looking good and having Meg's brilliant mind reflect on him and was too eager to help her after the panic attack kept her from presenting her work. I found him incredibly arrogant and hateful, which immediately gave all of my sympathy to Meg. He's a terrible father and a horrible person, and the rest of Meg’s family makes excuses for his behavior. Isaac's life hasn't gone in a good direction either, and she is incredibly forgiving and kind to him.

Meg and Isaac don't have a fairytale meet cute, and it sets the stage for their romance. They are hurt emotionally by those they care about,  and believe themselves unworthy of love. Their connection is one of self-growth as much as becoming a couple, and I really enjoyed seeing that part of it. As Meg says, she doesn't deal with her fears just for his sake, but because she must do it for herself as well. I was just as invested in her confrontations, my heart pounding as if it were a thriller that I was reading. The romance had a happily ever after, but I'm just as proud of them for the individual emotional growth. 

Buy Principles of Emotion at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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