The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh (♦♦♦)

Back in October, I received a request from author Heather Walsh to review her recently published book The Drake Equation. She e-mailed a copy in two formats but I was only able to download it to my computer. A combination of family health crises and my reluctance to read a book straight from my computer—because I use my computer to read blogs online, news and other silly stuff—made me put it off until now.

Finally, I stepped into this century technology-wise when I downloaded many world literature’s classics to my smartphone—can you believe they’re for free? Then this month I decided to contact author Heather Walsh again for a copy that I could download to my smartphone. She emailed me one but I couldn’t open it because the file wasn’t compatible with my SP so I bought a copy from Amazon and finally started reading. Ohoo!

And hereby is my review:

Emily Crossley is a twenty-six year-old idealist who works for a non-profit firm in North Prospect, Connecticut (a fictional town). She is a Democrat caring most of all for the environment and working towards getting rid of the SUVs one rally at a time. Emily lives more or less inside an ideological bubble since neither her parents, relatives, co-workers, nor her boss challenge her views.

Robert Drake is a twenty-six year-old guy with relatively serious views of the world for a person of his age. Robert works in PR for the largest car manufacturer in the Northeast. He also happens to be a Republican.

When Emily meets Robert at a Give-Up-Your-SUV-for-One-Day rally, which she organized, her curiosity is piqued. They start dating more or less informally meanwhile having heated debates mostly about environmental practices. Before long, Emily’s views broaden and she gets to accept their differences for he is not the enemy she thought she would encounter.

Robert teaches Emily a little about astronomy, his secret pastime, and she in turn infects him with her “almost always” unwavering optimism.

My reaction to The Drake Equation was mixed. I realize that reading it after Jane Eyre was probably not a good idea, but based on the topic I should have liked it more. I’ll tell you why I didn’t: 1) there’s too much talk about the environment in this book, so much so that it feels preachy rather than a fluent part of the plot; 2) I’m sure there’s more to a Democrat than caring for the environment, but from this book you wouldn’t be able to know it; 3) the characters aren’t that well developed—I didn’t care that much whether they ended up together or not.

One thing I liked and sort of share nowadays with Emily is the disenchantment with politics and the way things are going in Congress. It makes you think twice about giving your vote one way or another. The only redeeming quality of The Drake Equation may be its message that the world is imperfect and that we do a disservice to politics and society as a whole by emphasizing our differences rather than our common ground.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author free of charge in exchange for my honest review.