Published in 1997, this smart, sexy novel by Jeanette Winterson involves physics, two different love triangles, two different continents and two different time frames. The title is a reference to the grand unified theory of quantum mechanics. This is a beautiful book which exemplifies Winterson's gift for crafting intricate and intimate mythologies that illuminate life's mysteries.
This is also the only story I know of where one person has a simultaneous affair with two people who are married to each other.
On her website Winterson answers the question as to why she chose to write about something as head-scratchingly enigmatic as quantum physics. She said that she wanted to explore questions like how humans understand time as well as "What happens to the past? Does the future already exist?" Winterson states that she does not wish to answer these fundamental questions but rather to "add to the puzzle".
This part from the beginning of the book struck me as being especially true:
Walk with me. Hand in hand through the nightmare of narrative, the neat
sentences secret-nailed over meaning. Meaning mewed up like an
anchorite, its vision in broken pieces behind the wall. And if we pull
away the panelling, then what? Without the surface, what hope of contact,
of conversation? How will I come to read the rawness inside?
story of my day, the story of my life, the story of how we met, of what
happened before we met. And every story I begin to tell talks across a
story I cannot tell. And if I were not telling this story to you but to
someone else, would it be the same story?