A luminous and enthralling story of birds and science, ambition and sacrifice, revolutions – both big and small – and the late blooming of an unforgettable woman.
In 1941, spirited and adventurous Meridian Wallace begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago. The last thing she expects is to fall in love with a man two decades older: her brilliant physics professor, Alden Whetstone – or for him to be recruited to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to take part in a mysterious wartime project.
Meridian agrees to give Alden a year of her life, deferring her own ambitions for the sake of her husband’s. But hers is a world, and a time, in which a wife cannot be a scientist and a woman cannot choose her own destiny.
As the decades pass, Meridian strives to resist the clipping of her wings, torn between who she is and who circumstances demand her to be. It is a struggle that will make her enemies and lead to heartache, but which also offers the possibility of freedom, friendship and transformation?