The Heart of Henry Quantum is the 'first' novel for Pepper Harding. Pepper Harding is the pen name of a 'San Francisco writer known for an entirely different kind of literature.'
Its close to Christmas and advertising exec Henry Quantum is on a mission. He needs to buy his wife Margaret a bottle of perfume. He starts out with great purpose, but is easily distracted along the way by well, just about anything. But the one thing that captures Henry's attention is running into his old flame Daisy.
The novel is told in three narratives - from Henry, Margaret and then Daisy. Henry leads things off. And I think it's here that readers will either like or dislike Henry. His mind is a (very) busy place. His thoughts hop from one to another and another and another. Very stream of consciousness writing with lots of run on sentences. Here's the thing - I didn't like him, didn't feel sorry for him, didn't become engaged with him at all. Without revealing too much, he's a bit of an a**. "How is it that the woman you loved last year is no longer the woman you love this year? And to whom was he referring? Daisy or Margaret." I pitied Margaret being married to him.
And then I started Margaret's chapter, fully expecting to empathize and engage with her, based on my opinion of Henry and his actions and thoughts. Surprise! I didn't connect with her either. She too has her own agenda and isn't very likeable.
We see some of the same events from Henry and Margaret's lives from each of their perspectives that goes far in explaining who they are today.
Daisy. I was really hoping for a character I could like. And I did like Daisy. But, by this time, I truly wondered why anyone would want to be in a relationship with Henry. There are some positives in Daisy and Henry's past, but negative baggage as well.
The ending is just right for the book, but didn't redeem it in my eyes. Yes, I read it all - curiosity as to where the book would go and what further revelations Pepper would reveal kept me turning to the last page. I can't say it was a satisfying read for me, but it was definitely a different one. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Heart of Henry Quantum.
I chose to read The Heart of Henry Quantum based on the publisher's description - "In the bestselling tradition of A Man Called Ove." I loved Ove - his cantankerous ways, grumpy demeanor and his heart of gold. I personally didn't find much similarity between the two books. Another descriptive phrase, 'Socially awkward', from the publisher is the only similarity I agree with.