Elisa Mancini is a Nobody. Painfully insecure, more at ease with books than with people, at twenty-three she’s a university dropout living at her aunt’s, drifting from one day to another, and waiting for something big to happen.
Judith Shapiro is a Somebody. Arrogant and eccentric, she’s a superstar of mathematics, the subject of scientific articles, and the undisputed ruler of the world around her.
In a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, Elisa falls madly in love with Judith Shapiro. For sixty-eight days she is the mistress of an internationally acclaimed mathematician.
But loving Judith Shapiro is like running a marathon in a war zone. As days pass, Elisa’s wild infatuation takes on a suicidal bent, and the world around her starts to go to pieces. Just as everything is about to blow up, the moment of truth comes.
Absolute Truth, For Beginners is a story about truth, time and love. Or about identity, positive nursing, degrees of happiness, Baroque art, scientific theories, homosexual lovemaking, arrogant television producers, and becoming who you really are.
This book is difficult to follow, there is a lot scientific speak and tangents that dead end.
Elisa is a quiet girl who is really smart when it comes to Art History. She has had several setbacks in her life, but she has not let it stop her. She gets a job at a think tank where she is an assistant. She starts and is basically ignored by her boss and everyone else. She is confused, but as she spends days doing her job and not much else. She is enamored with the namesake of the facility, Judith Shapiro.
Judith Shapiro is a well-known mathematician. She is also unstable, she has been institutionalized when her theories were questioned. She must live in complete quiet, stripped rooms with little outside influence. She seems to lose track of where she is and who is around her. Judith is drawn to Elisa and speaks with her on the odd occasion. As Judith listens to Elisa talk she is infatuated more and more. When Judith propositions Elisa, she just can’t say no. As they start their relationship, Elisa soon realizes that this relationship is not healthy, Judith is gentle one time and rough the next.
Like I was saying this is not an easy read, but it is an emotional taxing read. By the time I finished it I had gone from being upset, to hurting for both of the characters, the ending is both sad and heartening.