REVIEW: Principles of Emotion by Sara Read

Posted February 29th, 2024 by in Blog, Review, Women's Fic - Chick-lit / 6 comments


Principles of Emotion by Sara Read: Leaving her academic life to care for her Grandmother, due, in part, to her debilitating anxiety, Meg eventually cracks the Mathematical problem – Frieholdt’s Conjecture; the impossible problem she has spent her entire life trying to solve the morning of her Grandmother’s funeral. And when her father’s acerbic, intolerant and abusive approach provides some steel to Meg’s spine, she knows the only way to show the mathematical world her achievement is to go public.

Unfortunately for Meg, her attempts are thwarted by a horrific panic attack and her own father attempting to steal credit for himself, and it isn’t until her one love Isaac is in trouble that she applies the principles of her mathematical discoveries to herself and her life.

Apart from her Grandmother, Meg was conditioned by her father to only understand love as a reward for performance. A child mathematics protégée Meg’s genius was offset by her ongoing mental illness, arguably created as a result of her father’s treatment of her and thus, whilst a romance novel is more a story of ‘love thyself’ and how to take the slow steps towards recovery through learning to love yourself. In an opposites attract kind of way, Isaac was present in Meg’s life as her grandmother’s tradesman and whilst they didn’t necessarily move beyond anything more that child-like intimacy in their early days, their connection was powerful, trusting and a solid foundation from which real love could spring.

Furthermore, their differences only served to support shared compassion and empathy and whilst both carried some big baggage, their real plight was in their ability to hold space for each other; at their worst and at their best. In truth, this was a beautiful read, and in tackling some fairly prevalent issues that impact many, it emphasized how important it is for us to lean on and lean into each other when we are desperate in order to feel safe and to be seen.

Book Info:

Publication: 1st January 2024 | Graydon House |

Reclusive and burdened by anxiety, Meg has long since been dismissed by academia. Now everyone wants to get their hands on what she alone possesses—especially her own mathematician father.

Having grown up a prodigy in a field plagued by sexism and plagiarism, Meg opts for a public presentation so there will be no doubt of her authorship. But a panic attack obliterates her plans. In defeat, she goes home and locks away the one and only manuscript of her proof.

Then chance sends her the unlikeliest of Isaac Wells—carpenter, high school dropout, in trouble with the law. And the one love of Meg’s life. Fifteen years ago, they did little more than hold hands. Now, they find a tenuous space where they can love and be loved for who they are—not who the world expects them to be.

But when Meg goes to retrieve the Impossible Theorem, she finds it missing. Her fight for the achievement of the century will test the limits of her brilliance and the endurance of two vulnerable hearts.



6 Responses to “REVIEW: Principles of Emotion by Sara Read”

  1. Glenda M

    Thanks so much for the review! I’ve hear a lot of great things about this book