She’s the hot new recruit at the most prestigious research institute in Germany, and she’s determined to live up to the hype — even if it means working day and night. Stress relief comes in the form of a no-nonsense affair with her neighbor, who also happens to be the director of the institute. Who says sex should be anything more than a contract between two people who have other things on their mind?
So when Tom Baker saunters into her life, Kate is understandably upset to see this well-oiled machine splutter and seize. Tom is young and smart, and far too pretty for his own good. Kate can’t help but be drawn to him, even if giving in to the attraction would mean risking everything she’s worked for.
Getting around in The Science of AttractionThe Science of Attraction is based in Bonn, a little German town that played host to the nation’s government during the Cold War — before big, beautiful Berlin stepped back in to reclaim that honor. Bonn is gorgeous: cobblestoned and picturesque, just like you want your European home away from home to be. But it’s not the only destination in the novel — these scientists make a point of getting around. Here’s where the story takes them:
Côte d’AzurLiterally translated as the Azure Coast, France’s southern province is mile upon sublime mile of beautiful blue sea. The beach Kate visits is quintessentially pebbled, and packed full of French vacationers, who play witness to some flirtatious antics between our leading lady and the ever-lovely Tom Baker. My longing for this part of the world is particularly acute during these terminally gray winter months!
AhrtalThe Ahr valley is a pretty little pocket of vine-covered hills not far from Bonn city limits. These are not the sprawling acres of wine country in the New World: most plots are family run, and no one vineyard seems to have more than a scrap of space. The vines are all lined up on steep hills to make the most of the limited sunshine, and the wine that gets squeezed out is pretty special stuff. Sadly, Kate and Tom are a little too distracted to really appreciate what’s in their glasses when they take their mini-road-trip to the valley.
LeipzigThe hip little brother to Germany’s capital, this town in the east of the country claims some serious cred. Bach, Goethe and Mendelssohn all hung out there for a start. But that was well before it became something of a hotbed for revolution. Back in the 80s, before the Berlin Wall came down, nearly 100,000 Leipzigers came together in the middle of town to protest peacefully against the East German regime, setting the wheels in motion for the reunification of the nation. These days it’s more mild, but still packed with cool, and worth a visit if you’re in the east.
Brighton (via London)Kate’s whole family has left the sprawling metropolis of London to make a home in Brighton on England’s south coast. And who could blame them? While London is a gorgeous mess of hipsters and high life, Brighton has one very big advantage over the capital: the beach. Sure, it’s no Thai island, but what it lacks in white sand and palm trees, it definitely makes up for with color and culture. Brighton has shown up in many a work of fiction, including Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in which, for Lizzie Bennet’s annoying little sister Lydia, “a visit to Brighton comprised every possibility of earthly happiness.” Damn straight.
See it all mapped out on The Science of Attraction storyboard: click me!