The Last Equation of Isaac Severy – Nova Jacobs


Summer-type of novel that kept my interest and was fun to read.  It’s a mystery about a family of mathematicians (grabs you right away, doesn’t it?) wherein the patriarch – and the most accomplished mathematician – dies under mysterious circumstances.  The book tells the story of trying to find out why and how he died and what it was he was working on at his death.  He leaves letters to some of his heirs that give clues to an amazing equation that allows its users to forecast certain human behaviors.  The equation is shrouded in secrecy and is apparently something he discovered without telling anyone in the family.  The mystery stems from his death appearing to be a suicide yet clues pointing to something more sinister and involving powerful people who’d love to get the equation.

I enjoyed the book not only because it was compelling and well-written, but also because the author does a great job of relating family dynamics and showing how death can bring disparate members together for better or worse.  The characters all have depth and interesting back-stories too.

Definitely worth the read if you’re looking for something light and vacation-y.

Additional note that really has nothing to do with anything: In the acknowledgements, the author mentions her sisters Moksha, Starlet, and Ananda.  The author’s name is Nova.  Nova, Moksha, Starlet, and Ananda Jacobs.  No word on whether or not they grew up on a commune or if the parents were named Feather and Moon.  If you do a little digging on name meanings you get the following: ‘Nova’ is a star that suddenly increases in brightness.  ‘Moksha’ in Hinduism is the transcendent state reached when one is released from the cycle of rebirth impelled by the law of Karma.  ‘Starlet’ is typically an up and coming actress but perhaps here is a small star (maybe mom’s name was Star?).  And ‘Ananda’ in Hinduism means extreme happiness, one of the highest states of being.  Seems like Ananda got the best name, eh?  I guess you have to give credit to the parents that they didn’t settle for Jessica, Jennifer, Ashley and Amanda.

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