Book Cover
The Unseen World


★ ★

TL;DR: Ada is raised by her father David. He home-schools her and brings her to his computer science lab in Boston. She is socially underdeveloped but extremely smart at the young age of 12. However, David’s old age begins to affect his mind. As his friends try to get his affairs in order, a lot of questions come up. Ada must figure things out as she also adjusts to life in the “real” world. Good novel with a slow build-up but a satisfyingly good conclusion.

Notes

  • Didn’t have the word flair of some of the fiction I’ve been reading. Refreshingly straightforward though
  • Hard for me to get in character as a 12-year-old girl, or I may have gotten more out of it
  • Tech/nerd side of things was fun for me
    • Overall very optimistic about AI. Benevolent AI future
  • How does family/upbringing affect you?

Snippets

"This must be the most important factor in your choice of a life partner," he told Ada. "Who will most patiently and enthusiastically support your ambitions?" (18) [Tiger: self-centered lol]

David was passionate about cooking -- to him it was a cousin of chemistry (23)

They were her father's favorite books of all time, but she had adopted them as her own so fully that she was no longer certain what the truth was (25) [Tiger: wow, like WBW career post]

These quiet moments, this liminal space between wakefulness and sleep, lingering in her confusion, willing herself backward into her dreams. (76)

We must be constant and vigilant in our war against entropy, David used to say frequently. Entropy always has the upper hand. (82)

Only humans can hurt one another, Ada thought; only humans falter and betray one another with a stunning, fearsome frequency. As David's family had done to him; as David had done to her. And Ada would do it, too. She would fail other people throughout her life, inevitably, even those she loved the best. (441)

Summary (spoilers duh)

  • So David is actually this guy Harold Canady who was in real danger as a gay person working for the government in the 60’s, so he faked his death and took on the identity of his boyfriend David Sibelius (who was estranged from his own family). He moved to Boston and started the lab, had Ada via surrogate, and the rest is history.