Two Moons by Thomas Mallon
A novel

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Synopsis

Astronomy, politics, and romance join forces in this novel from the writer John Updike has called "one of the most interesting American novelists at work."
        
It's the spring of 1877 in Washington, D.C., and at the U.S. Naval Observatory, Hugh Allison has conceived a secret ambition: to project an image through time and space. But his plan takes on urgent life only when the mathematically gifted Cynthia May enters his orbit as one of the observatory's human "computers." A Civil War widow whose beauty has been shadowed by worry and poverty, Cynthia reluctantly falls in love with the younger Hugh, who missed the war that has haunted her life. But the fate of their love affair -- and of Hugh's heavenly vision -- may be out of their hands, decided instead by an astrologer and by the actions of a dangerously magnetic politician who wields his power over a Senate convulsed by Reconstruction and a wildly disputed presidential election.

Masterfully combining historical detail and startling invention, Thomas Mallon gives us a galvanizing story of earthly heartbreak and otherworldly triumph.
 

About Thomas Mallon

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Thomas Mallon's novels include Dewey Defeats Truman, Henry and Clara, and Aurora 7. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and GQ, and is the author of books about plagiarism (Stolen Words) and diaries (A Book of One's Own). In 1998, he received the National Book Critics Circle award for reviewing. He lives in Westport, Connecticut.
 
Published February 8, 2000 by Pantheon. 320 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Two Moons

Publishers Weekly

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Start thinking of the light that might come from us."" Cynthia embarks on a secret plan to grease the wheels for Hugh to acquire a high-powered lamp from France and get it through U.S. Customs in New York, a ""machine"" run by Senator Conkling.

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Star Tribune

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At the beginning of the novel, Cynthia makes the leap from bureaucratic typewriter to human computer at the observatory.

Mar 11 2000 | Read Full Review of Two Moons: A novel

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