A historian, trying to finish a long-overdue book on Isaac Newton, rents a cottage in southern Ireland for the summer, in this fourth novel by Booker Award–winner John Banville. As he puzzles over Newton's 1693 mental collapse, the historian is distracted by the inhabitants of nearby Fern House, trying to imagine their life histories instead of writing his book, but becoming part of a love triangle in the process.
"[John Banville] uses the implication of the science he describes to turn biography back on itself . . . his most impressive work to date."—The New York Times