Monday, October 04, 2010

Percival's Planet by Michael Byers (2010)

My dear friend and colleague (and fellow avid reader), Michele L., just finished the novel Percival's Planet by Michael Byers and told me there were a few references to Scranton in the text.

Byer's second novel Percival's Planet, just published in August 2010, tells the story of the obsessive and ambitious the race to discover Pluto in 1930, pitting an untrained Kansas farm boy against the greatest minds of Harvard at the run-down Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

Michele L. discovered the following four reference to Scranton in Byer's novel, which is the hometown of Mary and Hollis Hempstead, brother and sister, and two of the book's protagonists:

p. 58 "Suddenly she was alone in the world except for her brother, Hollis, who traveled back to Scranton from Massachusetts to stand with her twice..."

p. 60 (referring to Mary's brother Hollis) "He was a boy from Scranton made good."

p. 68 (Hollis speaking to his sister Mary) "'Possibly you know our parents both died within a few weeks of each other, last year, in Scranton.'"

p. 151 (Hollis discussing his sister Mary with her doctor, Dr. Miller) "'Likely she was suffering in some fashion even before your parents died, before she left Scranton to live with you here.'"

Percival's Planet is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System; to place a hold, click here.

A big thanks to Michele L. for this reference.

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