The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues

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Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Atria Books
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.9 X 0.9 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Nova Jacobs holds an MFA from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and is a recipient of the Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jeremy. She is the author of The Stars Turned Inside Out and The Last Equation of Isaac Severy.


"In The Last Equation of Isaac Severy, Nova Jacobs sends an endearing bookstore owner on a quest for an elusive mathematical formula--but that is only the beginning of her journey. Jacobs weaves a charming, mysterious tale about family bonds, personal ghosts, and the wondrous intersection of mathematics and art. A fun, compelling read."
--Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
"A riveting narrative that . . . delivers all the page-turning suspense of a mystery novel laced with insights into modern mathematics and quantum physics, and into the dynamics of family relationships. A brilliant first novel radiant with promise of even better to come."
--Booklist, starred review
"Intricate and moving . . . Plausible depictions of psychologically wounded characters enhance the surprising plot twists."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"I so hated saying goodbye to the brainy eccentrics in the Severy clan that I started this book all over again as soon as I finished it. Can't wait to see the fresh surprises I'll find now that I'm in on a few of their secrets."
--Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank with Me
"In lovely, inventive prose, Jacobs re-engineers the tropes of family drama to explore age-old conundrums of destiny versus self-determination... [A] remarkable debut."
--Kirkus Reviews
"Engaging, clever . . . .a sharp puzzle mystery, full of stimulating questions that make it impossible to stop turning the pages. . . . Isaac Severy left me with the lasting realization that mathematics is a love language. Well done, professor."
--Sophia Bush
"Clever . . . . Nova Jacobs has penned a novel that is anything but clueless, filled with consideration and compassion."
--Washington Post
"This book is certainly a treat."
"The lone literary soul in a Royal Tenenbaums-esque clan of geniuses scours L.A. for clues to an urgent problem her grandfather left behind . . . [an] unformulaic romp of a mystery."
--Martha Stewart Living
"The Severy family would fit right into one of Wes Anderson's eccentric comedies... Nova Jacobs gives us a portrait of family function and dysfunction that will be familiar even to those of us without fatal genius in our genes."
--Raleigh News & Observer
"Jacobs never loses traction -- or the fun -- of her elaborate storyline . . . . Her complex and carbonated plot is satisfying and refreshing -- a debut not to be missed."
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Jacobs's debut novel cleverly mixes people, plots, and puzzle with humor and heart. This brainy thriller will appeal to readers who enjoyed Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore."
--Library Journal, starred review
"This captivating story about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, sends her on a quest for an elusive and a potentially dangerous mathematical formula is cerebral, eccentric and endearing."
--Chicago Review of Books
"Debut novelist Nova Jacobs has plotted an elaborate riddle within a multifaceted exploration of family and identity. This genre-bending story will appeal to lovers of family dramas such as Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You, as well as readers who prefer their stories full of intellectual suspense."
"A page-turner that will leave you hunting for the clues alongside the main characters."
--The Daily Beast
"Hugely entertaining... "The Last Equation of Isaac Severy" is full of delight. Though Ms. Jacobs's writing has echoes of Thomas Pynchon, Nathanael West and J.D. Salinger, her terrific book displays in abundance a magic all its own."
--Wall Street Journal
"Surely this is among the most dazzling debuts of the year--and one of the most original and enjoyable, too: a quest story, a novel of manners, a tragicomedy, a more-or-less romance and a scientific speculation on the intersection of fate and chance, all unspooling across Los Angeles and its sunny suburbs."
--Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
"If you love a good scavenger hunt, this is the pick for you. It has everything you'll need: a dead mathematician, a mystery to solve before an equation gets into the wrong hands, and a questionable ally."