binary star review

Binary Star: A Review

Binary StarNew School alum Sarah Gerard‘s Binary Star is a veritable unicorn — a lyrical novel that burns brightly from start to finish. If your 25-year-old heart romanticized the worst possible courtships, then related its feelings in sharp verse, it would be a close approximation of this striking debut.

Gerard’s tale of a young astronomy professor’s raw romance with a distant and wrong-for-her beau reads like a catalog of twentysomething mistakes, riddled with self-destructive behavior and cringe-worthy moments. More mature readers may bristle at how Binary Star‘s protagonist revels in a downward-spiralling relationship with her lover.

Her eating disorder — anorexia, which Gerard dealt with as a university student — serves not as an aesthetic tool, but a slow vehicle for suicide. The protagonist makes no attempt to hide this fact, and her wish to waste away plays front-and-center.

Although Binary Star reads quickly, it may frustrate readers who want more exposition on the hows and whys of the story. This misses the point, of course. Gerard’s protagonist relates her desires and reasons, such as they are. There is little more to be said, and an attempt to hash out any further logic dulls Binary Star‘s shine.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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