Book blurb: She’s a Democrat, he’s a Republican. She spends her days fighting global warming at an environmental non-profit, he makes his living doing PR for Bell Motors and their fleet of SUVs. But as soon as they meet, Emily Crossley and Robert Drake realize they have encountered their intellectual match. You’re never challenged, he tells her. You’ve surrounded yourself in a cocoon of people who think exactly the same way you do. She hurls the same accusation back at him, and the fiery debates begin.
Despite both of their attempts to derail it, there is no denying that they are falling in love. But their relationship is threatened by political differences, Robert’s excessive work hours, and Emily’s fear of losing her identity as she falls deeper in love.
Can their love survive? The Drake Equation is a tale of modern love and all its complexities.
If you are looking for more than a love story, something that reaches across to political, intellectual issues that cause debate and passion, then Heather Walsh’s ‘The Drake Equation’ could be the next book for you!
As the reader is introduced to Emily we realise very quickly that she is quite a strong character and believes in everything she stands for. She is very proud and nothing can really sway her determination to make more people aware of the damage they are creating to the environment and to try to prevent them from continuously contributing to global warming.
Robert, on the other hand, is less concerned. Not necessarily because he doesn’t care, but more because he is a workaholic and working within a corporate background is what he knows. He is good at his job, marketing and advertising SUV’s – one of the main topics that Emily is fighting against. It is Emily’s fight and passion that Robert is attracted to. Amid the serious discussions, there are moments of teasing and playfulness between the main characters, which does endear the reader to them.
They both meet at a charitable event that Emily has organised, after Robert’s boss asked him to ‘spy’ on GeoForce to find out what they were up to. During their encounter, and during dates afterward, Emily and Robert hold mature conversations regarding their line of work and their beliefs. It is quite amusing at times how strong-willed Emily actually is and she does tend to allow Robert to wind her up very easily with his nonchalant attitude. However, it is equally amusing when she stumbles and doesn’t always know how to match his argument or decides against it.
The global warming aspect is quite an intelligent and interesting subject matter that some will enjoy to read, rather than just concentrating on the relationship growing between Emily and Robert – really something more to provide the reader with as they decide which side of the argument they lean towards, and of course, being able to understand the viewpoints of both characters.
Heather Walsh certainly knows how to write well in her debut and has filled this novel with intelligent ideas and built the love story around two people that could easily dislike each other and what they stand for. However, it is this that has actually brought them together and I found this to be very interesting, watching Emily and Robert battle out their opposite trains of thought at the same time as listening and (at times) respecting the others’ reasoning.
Emily’s colleagues, especially Carson, enlighten the story at certain intervals. Some of these instances made me smile and laugh at times. One moment in particular is where the reader learns how Carson was named by his mother.
The atmosphere and mood of The Drake Equation is quite realistic – with the relationship Emily has with Robert and her co-workers. The reader can explore Emily’s moods, especially as she appears to be more serious as the novel moves on. This enables the reader to understand and relate to Emily, and all of the characters as they are all believable. On occasions, I was hoping for a little more drama, a little more action and something more gripping from earlier on in the story. However, as the story moves on it becomes more apparent that this story concerns Emily’s character and thoughts, and how she is affected by Robert’s different views, challenges and love.
Throughout the second half of the book, after Robert shares his feelings that Emily is holding something back, the reader is curious to know what Emily’s ‘secret’ is. The reader is kept guessing until the very end.
I would have liked to have read more about Robert, as The Drake Equation focuses heavily on Emily’s views, moods and her work. I would have also welcomed a little more warmth and romance in terms of actions and gestures. The Drake Equation is more a tale of how love can change a persons life and even perspective. The question is: will it work in favour for or against a relationship with Robert?
The Drake Equation was provided by the author, Heather Walsh, in return for an honest and fair review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker