The Right Amount of Brilliance

Fiction - Literary
343 Pages
Reviewed on 09/19/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Nicole Wachell’s The Right Amount of Brilliance follows the story of two prominent professors in California: Jake Washington and Sebastian Barnabas. The two men meet and discover that they are twins who were separated at the age of three. While they try to understand and accept the circumstances that led to their separation, each has a lot to deal with. Jake is a scientist at Berkeley and involved in scientific research that he must protect from other colleagues. His brother, Sebastian, is a mathematician at Stanford, and he is embroiled in a distressing lawsuit. The conflict deepens with new revelations and players, engulfing family, and affecting people close to the characters.

This is an engrossing narrative with a strong premise. Discovering a twin brother that one never knew existed is powerful enough to change everything and this is the experience in the novel. The plot is nothing like what I expected when I read the blurb and the author ensures that the characters are sophisticated. They are not just two professors leading normal lives and working in universities. Each of them is written with a conflict that becomes an obsession and I loved the intersection the author creates in the life of each of the characters. The Right Amount of Brilliance is a character-driven story and the author does a wonderful job with the plot and the drama. Nicole Wachell's writing is impeccably good and she writes realism and humanity into the pages, making the story hugely believable. This is an exciting read that explores themes of family, brotherhood, education, and more.