The Smallest Lights in the Universe

Crown. Aug. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780525576259. $28. MEMOIR
At the intersection of dreams and science stood a little girl from Ontario, Canada, who, during a camping trip, discovered the wonders of the night sky unobscured by the glare of city lights. Seager (astrophysics & planetary science, MIT) has intertwined her lifelong love of the stars with her personal story of love and loss and renewal. She describes how she channeled her interest in science and nature into a career as an astrophysicist, which in turn sparked her sense of adventure. While pursuing her education, she does research on exoplanets, or those planets outside the solar system. She also meets her future husband, with whom she marries and has two children, and who also shares her passion for the outdoors. After her husband dies unexpectedly from cancer, Seager has to pick up the pieces of her grief and lost love and try to rebuild her life.
VERDICT This thoughtful and affecting memoir of navigating life after loss reads like a comforting novel, inspiring others to follow their dreams and never give up on the possibilities of discovery and self-reflection. Readers seeking women’s biographies and studies in planetary science will relish this heartfelt story.
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