The Schrödinger Girl
Garrett Adams, an unhappy professor of behavioral psychology (think Skinner’s rats), is struggling to ignore the 1960s. In an overflowing New York bookstore, he hides out in the physics section, a hobby of his, and reads about Schrödinger and his cat. On a whim, he decides if anyone else picks up the book, he’ll invite the man to lunch. The first person who is drawn to it turns out to be a teenager named Daphne. After their first lunch, they continue to see each other, though Daphne separates into four different selves. Each one takes Garrett on a trip into a different version of 1960s reality. Together, they invite him to question the laws of physics.
Inserting quantum theory into a novel is a brave endeavor, one which Brett has engaged in with considerable success. In addition, her portrayal of the avenues down which a 1960s teenager might travel took me down memory lane. The unforgettable music, drugs, art, and politics all pull one or more of the Daphnes into trouble that forces Garrett out of his shell. His commitment to and perhaps even “obsession” with the girls creates rifts in his relationships with his best friend and his girlfriend. It also creates a more likable man.