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Bright and Dangerous Objects

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Commercial deep-sea diver Solvig has a secret. She wants to be one of the first human beings to colonize Mars, and she’s one of a hundred people shortlisted by the Mars Project to do just that. But to fulfil her ambition, she’ll have to leave behind everything she’s ever known—for the rest of her life.

As the prospect of heading to space becomes more real, thirty-seven-year
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Tin House Books
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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

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This is not a happy book. I picked it up because I thought the cover was gorgeous and I try to support and boost books written about women in STEM fields, but BRIGHT AND DANGEROUS OBJECTS is miserable. This is not a book about female empowerment, not really. It's about questioning-- questioning your happiness, questioning your sexuality, questioning your partner, questioning your choices, and, when you come to a fork in a road that will
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
I wanted this based on the description. Solvig is in her thirties. Currently she's a professional deep sea diver and has aspirations to be part of the first expedition to colonize Mars. She's in a loving relationship and her biological clock is ticking loudly. Should she decide to have a child with him, she'll have to leave that child behind forever. But she's not sure she wants a child at all. The decision so many women struggle with, whether or not to bring another life into the world, can be ...more
Jessica Woodbury
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounded up. Feelings of ambivalence towards motherhood is a subject we're seeing explored more deeply (thankfully) in current fiction. But much of that is about actual parenting rather than the possibility of it. In this book, Mackintosh's heroine, Solvig, is 36 and still undecided on whether she wants children. The conflict between the life she has now and the life she would have as a mother unsteady her as she is forced to make a choice.

Solvig works as a saturation diver, living und
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mars. The final frontier. Well, some of it anyway. A tantalizingly inviting yet impossible dream. And as with all such things, there are those who just won’t take no for an answer, like Musk, trying to go there and colonize it anyway. But with all the numerous and very serious risks involved…who’d want to be on that (most likely) one way mission? Well, this book’s protagonist, for one. And that was the main appeal of this book for me. There’s absolutely no way I’d just select a book wherein a ma ...more
Rhiannon Johnson
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book popped on my radar earlier this year and I wasn't sure I was going to read it. Then I saw the trailers for Hilary Swank in the new Netflix series Away and started thinking of the book again. I read Bright and Dangerous Objects in a single setting and while it was an enjoyable way to spend my evening it wasn't necessarily remarkable. Thirty-seven-year-old Solvig loves her job as a deep sea diver because o
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: advanced-copies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, this one is literary fiction at its most deliberate and soul-searching. {Thank you to Tin House books for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.}

Heartrending and thought-provoking, Bright and Dangerous Objects explores the slow process of finally accepting certain things about yourself that you've long hidden and denied.

"Who do you want to be? What do you want to do?"
Such a relatable issue - and most people seem to figure it out smoothly enough. But this book tak
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had never considered deep sea welding and saturation diving as a job, but it now fascinates me.
On the surface this is a story of a woman considering following her ambition or a desire to have a family and navigating relationships It goes much deeper and pulls the reader into reflection on decisions, desires, and the steps one takes toward a future that’s planned or unintended. A delightful read.

Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I love the premise of this book. Solvig is commercial diver, which is a dangerous but neat profession. I love her need to be diving. I love her self discovery as the story goes on. The idea of volunteering to join a mission to Mars seemed to make sense for Solvig. Her struggles to get pregnant and stay pregnant were heartfelt.

My favorite thing about this story was the the idea of Mars travel and everyday people applying to participate. I was not in love with Solvig. I thought she was selfish an
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 ⭐️
my expectations for this book weren’t met, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. interesting exploration of feeling trapped between two worlds
Jessica Klahr
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I went into this novel with the wrong concept of what it was going to be, but I still ended up enjoying it. I thought part would focus on Solvig’s past and part would take place in space when really they whole novel is building up to her maybe finding out if she got into this space program. The program itself seemed shakey and I doubt anything like it could really exist anytime soon with civilians volunteering to spend the rest of their years on Mars. But, thankfully, there were a lot of other t ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Anneliese Mackintosh’s Bright and Dangerous Objects combines two kinds of female-led stories that are currently very popular; the dysfunctional millennial drifting through her life, and the woman struggling with the realities and fantasies of potential motherhood. However, Solvig, the 37-year-old protagonist of this novel, is a bit different from a lot of her literary counterparts; alongside her internal conflicts, she is also occupied with a skilled and dangerous job, commercial deep-sea diving ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it liked it
My three words: character-centered, deliberate pacing, domestic

Thank you to Norton for the copy in exchange for an honest review in their LibraryReads program.

Bright and Dangerous Objects is the story of Solvig, a deep-sea welder who is chosen as a finalist for a mission to colonize Mars. The book is the story of her struggle between her own desires, motherhood, and love.

The bright spot of this book is that it has a very interesting premise. I was excited to read this one because I have also str
Brandy Hawkins
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina Rae
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
So. I don’t quite know I feel about this book. I went into this thinking it was going to be a space story but it’s honestly...not? The space aspect seems to be more of a plot device than anything. But this doesn’t really have a solid ~story to begin with. This whole book seems to be more about one woman’s internal struggle and that’s not really how this was advertised. I probably wouldn’t have picked this up if I’d known there would be so little about space.

So I get the whole ~questioning if you
Mandy McHugh
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by outer space. Stars, planets, space exploration--all of it; and while I've never wanted to be an astronaut, I will read anything in this genre. This cover is beautiful and immediately caught my attention, and with an equally intriguing blurb, I was excited to dive in.

Solvig is a diver in the oil industry, spending months at a time submerged in a tight ship with mostly men. She loves her job, loves her boyfriend of three years, loves her life
Cait McKay
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The atmosphere here in Bright and Dangerous Objects is heavy. It’s laden down with creeping grief, sudden disappointment and the growing dread of continuing to exist while things crash apart around you. Sensitive tattoo-artist boyfriends, fancy craft beer, and getaways in stone cottages cannot save you from yourself.

Solvig has inherited her mother’s furious brain. She has inherited her father’s tend towards self destruction. She has inherited a hunk of malachite that is supposed to keep her safe
Maddie Day
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's widely considered that the most dangerous part of any flight is the takeoff. This is true for planes and rockets, as well as saturation diving, where the descent to the sea floor takes 5 days of careful depressurization. Anneliese Mackintosh's BRIGHT AND DANGEROUS OBJECTS perfectly captures the dangers, fears, and impossibilities of commercial deep-sea diver Solvig Deano's own "takeoff": to be, or not to be, a mother?

Solvig lives for her diving job, her month-long escapes to the sea floor,
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Solvig's always looking for her next escape. That's why she's particularly suited for her job as a commercial deep-sea diver suits her: she can leave James, her partner, for months at a time, but she can always return. But when he shares his desire to have a child with her, she discovers a new desire: to be one of the first humans to colonize Mars. Does she want a baby? Does she want to travel to space? Can she do both?
This novel explores questions surrounding career and motherhood, how to matc
Kim McGee
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars
James and Solvig are happy but now James want more - a baby and since Solvig leaves for a month at a time to live in a decompression chamber where she is a deep sea welder, getting pregnant might take a bit of time. Solvig has a secret desire to be chosen to go to Mars and colonize the planet which would mean leaving your family behind forever. She tries to convince herself that she should want a baby and be happy being pregnant but a nagging little voice tells her that she could do m
Sarah Anderson-Pagal
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you for the ARC Tin House!

I have been wanting to read this book since I first read the premise.

Our main character, Slovig and her longtime partner James discuss having a baby. Slovig is uncertain. If she were to get pregnant, she could no longer do her deep-sea dives, the job she loves. It also makes her question if she would be able to go to Mars, her dream.

I really liked this book. I like how she brings up the questions about Motherhood. Things I questioned before falling pregnant. Thi
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a stunning and authentic portrait of human desire filled with all the questioning, yearning, and heartbreak that is experienced when our deepest wishes for our future conflict and clash up against one another. Mackintosh has captured the imperative quality of our humanness which is our ability to imagine a million different possible lives and hold them up to the light for examination with the inherent understanding that our lives are short and our magnificent bodies will break down ...more
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
How do you decide what you really want? That is the question that Solvig is wondering about. She is a deep-sea diver, but she wants to be one of the first people to colonize Mars. She genuinely wants to make a difference to humanity. But the excursion that is to take place years in the future, does not offer a return trip. She also wants to have a baby. How can she decide? Time to decide is running out on both counts.

I found this storyline exciting, but I guess I expected more than the story cou
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this book more than expected! It's very theoretical and literary and driven by the internal monologue of Solvig, our main character. I don't typically enjoy books that feel so ungrounded, but the writing and pacing of this one really kept me hooked.

We follow Solvig and her partner as they start trying for a baby when Solvigs' real dream is to be one of the first women on Mars. It's an allegori
Kimberlee (reading.wanderwoman)
I have to say the title seems off in comparison to the book's plot?

Solvig, a 37 year old saturation diver applies to be part of the Mars Project. If chosen, she will have to agree to live the rest of her life on Mars. But what about her life here? Her partner James suggests they start trying for a baby. Solvig, keeping her thoughts about the Mars Project a secret puts a strain on her and James's relationship. Can she have both? Can she have a baby but eventually move to Mars?

Sort of an age old
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Solvig must make a choice: Begin a family with her partner James or apply to be one of the first people to colonize Mars on a one-way ticket. A beautiful meditation on life, love, loss and motherhood. A short read with excellently developed characters with whom the reader will develop a close relationship. For those interested in space travel and literary fiction.
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it

How do we ever know what we really want? I felt connected to the questions this book asked. It made me feel less alone. The murky nature of decisions and what it means to be sure are explored here. Things people don’t generally talk about: Fewer people than they’d have you believe are sure.
Paul Manytravels
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Bright and Dangerous Objects by Anneliese Mackintosh and found its premise interesting enough to dive right in.
The book is not so much concerned with its plot as it is with its primary character, Solvig, as well as her relationship with significant other, James.
Solvig is a 37 year old deep sea welder who wants two mutually exclusive things: to have children and to go to Mars to help colonize it. The book centers much more on her inner conflict about thes
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Bright and Dangerous Objects is a book about a woman who is unsure of what she wants in life. I've never read a book with a character like her, i related very much to her.
Shelby Bollen
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I've been learning to love literary fiction this year, and this certainly didn't disappoint. We need more books that provide representation for women in STEM subjects, so I was very happy to receive an ARC of this!

Commercial deep-sea diver Solvig has a secret. She wants to be one of the first human beings to colonize Mars, and she’s one of a hundred people shortlisted by the Mars Project to do just that. But to fulfill her ambition, she’ll have to leave behind everything she’s ever known—for th
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Anneliese Mackintosh’s debut novel, So Happy It Hurts, was published by Jonathan Cape in July 2017. Her first short story collection, Any Other Mouth, was published by Freight Books in 2014, and it won the Green Carnation Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize, Saltire Society's First Book Award, and the Saboteur Award, and longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Stor ...more

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“Now, I've learnt the secret to making decisions. It's all about diving in. Am I hungry? I'll cat a sandwich to find out. Am I tired yet? I'll go to bed and see. Do I want a baby? I don't know. Let's have unprotected sex and see how it feels.” 0 likes
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