Leaning Towards Infinity
Sue Woolfe
392 pages, published 1996

Leaning Towards Infinity was definitely a strange read, and probably not one that I would have ever picked up on my own (it was a recommendation from a uni friend), but I enjoyed all the same. The story focuses on amateur mathematical theorist, Frances Montrose, as she works hard to present the completion of her mother’s work at a convention, faces academic snobbery and her own insecurities. While the story is interesting, and you can really identify with her struggles, it is how the book is written that makes it remarkable.

The story employs a form of written gymnastics to explore the relationship between mother and daughter: ‘written’ by Frances’ daughter, Hypatia, as she reflects on her childhood and her own motherhood. This is compounded even more by the relationship between Frances and her own mother – and then hers again! Once the flow of history is established however, the stories weave interestingly and, in points, heartbreakingly. 3/5

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