Sep 16, 11
Read from September 14 to 15, 2011
This is an achingly sad book. The two main characters are both damaged in childhood, one by family tragedy, and the other by rigid and over-demanding parents. They meet in high school where neither of them is capable of sustaining relationships with others and become the target of bullying. Mattia and Alice gravitate towards each other, each recognising the other's pain but unable to move the relationship into a romance. Rather, they spend time with each other but remain wrapped in solitude.
The metaphor of the prime number is used effectively, and, appropriately, Mattia becomes a mathematician and leave Italy for Scandinavia to take up a research and teaching position. For me, the first half of the book worked better than when the story moves on to their reunion, 9 years after his departure.