“Refreshing.... Asks urgent questions about female ambition. Fans of Lab Girl have found a worthy successor.”—Real Simple
A powerful debut novel—a wonderfully engaging infusion of Lab Girl, The Assistants, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine—that pits the ambition of scientific discovery against the siren call of love.
Emily Apell arrives in Justin McKinnon’s renowned research lab with the single-minded goal of making a breakthrough discovery. But a colleague in the lab, Aeden Doherty, has been working on a similar topic, and his findings threaten to compete with her research.
To Emily’s surprise, her rational mind is unsettled by Aeden, and when they end up working together their animosity turns to physical passion, followed by love. Emily eventually allows herself to envision a future with Aeden, but when he decides to leave the lab it becomes clear to her that she must make a choice. It is only years later, when she is about to receive a prestigious award for the work they did together, that Emily is able to unravel everything that happened between them.
A sharp, relevant novel that speaks to the ambitions and desires of modern women, The DNA of You and Me explores the evergreen question of career versus family, the irrational sensibility of love, and whether one can be a loner without a diagnostic label.
This sharp debut from Rothman, a former research associate at the Rockefeller University in New York, sets a bittersweet love story within the cut-throat world of academic research, a great pairing she explores with heart, smarts, and a lot of furtive sex. The novel's narrator, Emily, a bioinformatician "a sort of Watson-and-Crick of the new millennium" details her 12-year effort to discover a groundbreaking "pathfinder" gene at a New York City research lab. But her promising work means that university lab colleague Aeden will get sidelined as he's grudgingly reassigned from his own project to help with Emily's project. The pair's initial animosity fueled by Emily's admission that she borrowed Aeden's research findings turns to passion, but also forces an emotional and career choice after Emily's awkward visit to meet Aeden's family. "People like Emily don't need other people," Aeden's mother bluntly tells him, a conversation that Emily overhears. When she then discovers Aeden's own duplicitous move to discredit her work, both are forced to take a hard look at their futures. This insider look at the rigors and risks of the competitive world of scientific research is fascinating, but it's Rothman's aching study of loneliness, heartbreak and forgiveness that resonate.