Staff Pick: The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church

Since I was a child, all I ever really wanted in life was to be surrounded by books. From Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to Little Women to The Hobbit, the winding trail of my childhood is littered with the pages of deeply loved books.

So when I started working at Aaron’s Books last fall, I mostly just wanted to fulfill a childhood dream of working in a bookstore and being (literally) immersed in books every day. What I didn’t know is that one of the many perks of working at an indie bookstore is the ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) that we get to take home for free.

What are ARCs, you might ask? Good question. An ARC is an uncorrected, free copy of a soon-to-be-published book that publishers give to bookstores to “get the word out” and (ideally) boost sales of the book upon its publishing date.

Guys, the are just the ARCs I’m in the process of reading!

In my short time at Aaron’s, I’ve ready many really good ARCs, but today I want to tell you about one of the first ARCs I read that has just recently been published: The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church.

Of course it’s one of my staff picks!

Spanning the decades between WWII and the Vietnam War, Church’s debut novel follows Meridian: an intelligent young woman with a bright academic future in ornithology who marries a talented physics professor. Believing hers to be a marriage of equals, Meridian suspends her own career to support her husband’s, but for how long? Can she be a loyal wife and also an independent woman in mid-20th century America?

Each chapter is aptly titled with terms for gatherings of birds, evoking a sense of the forces of nature that play a part in driving our lives and choices.

Beautifully and creatively written, Church’s The Atomic Weight of Love is a journey of feminist selfhood in the years leading up to the Women’s Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Stop in to the store today to pick up your copy and start reading!


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