About The DNA of You and Me
• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (March 12, 2019)
“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.
Emily Apell knows exactly what she want to do with her life. When she gets the chance to join a renowned research lab, Emily knows this is her chance to make a breakthrough in the science of smell. Emily has never felt like she fit in with other people. However, lab colleague Aeden intrigues Emily like no one before. Unfortunately, Aeden seems to have no interest in Emily and only sees her as a competitor. Aeden's research is surprisingly similar to to what Emily was brought in to work on. When Emily's research proves more promising and Aeden is faced with being kicked out of the lab, Emily makes a decision to make Aeden an equal partner in her research. Emily and Aeden begin a clunky relationship, but as things progress Emily realizes she is in uncharted waters. Years later, as Emily is about to accept an award for her work, she tries to unravel what happened in their relationship.
The DNA of You and Me is a very different type of romance where a neurodivergent tries to piece together what happened to a relationship that almost changed her goal in life. I could tell Emily's character was a bit different from the beginning and yet I could relate to her not attaching to any people and feeling like she was just fine without them. I have to admit I found the science part of the book way more fascinating than the relationship part. It was clear that the author had experience in the lab as well as an extensive knowledge of the science of smell. I enjoyed reading about the process of tirelessly searching databases, finding something that looks promising, isolating the gene and seeing if it does what is expected. The reality of research science is also highlighted, that most of what is worked on is a failure- or at least not what was expected. Aeden was a conundrum to me, approaching his relationship with Emily as something he needs to hide, almost hate fueled and willing to ruin everything that she has worked on for what he believes is love. I understood Emily's attraction more since Aeden seemed to be the first person she ever clicked with, ever felt that she needed to be around. In the end, I felt that Emily made the right decisions for herself and highlighted the strength of women in the STEM field.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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About Andrea Rothman
Andrea Rothman was born in Brooklyn NY and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Her debut novel, THE DNA OF YOU AND ME, was published by William Morrow-HarperCollins in March of 2019. The novel has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal, and won an award for Best Popular Fiction in English at the 21st International Latino Book Awards in Los Angeles.
Prior to being a fiction writer, Rothman was a research scientist at the Rockefeller University in New York, where she studied the sense of smell. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and was a fiction editor for the VCFA journal of the arts-Hunger Mountain.
Her essays and short stories have appeared in print and online journals such as Literary Hub, Lablit, Cleaver Magazine, and Litro Magazine among others, and can be viewed at www.andrearothman.com.
Rothman lives with her husband and two children in Long Island, New York. She is at work on a second novel.
Connect with Rothman on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.