Author: Liz Moore
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary
Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David’s colleagues. Soon after she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World’s heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.
I’d never read a book that depressed and made me melancholy right from start to end.
Ada has had an unorthodox childhood. Exceptionally bright, she is raised by her single father David and it’s mostly been her and David throughout her childhood. He has homeschooled her, educated her the way he saw fit and taken her to the lab with him where her only friends are David’s fellow colleagues.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Ada’s life soon changes and the secrets that then come to the forefront are the core of this novel. As the book develops, it becomes clear that David hasn’t been entirely honest about his identity and his background. As the mysteries around him accumulate, we get to know Ada best mostly through her efforts to understand her enigmatic father and unfold his secrets.
The characters are the most complicated and ultimately indecipherable puzzles and the combination of the personal, emotional and a life spent developing mental processes are super intriguing where the mysteries are slowly revealed. Throughout the novel, we’re transported from Boston in the 1980s to the 1920s and ’30s in Kansas, and we’re given full entrance into David’s thoughts while he endures his somewhat mysterious childhood.