Skip to main content

Evidence of Things Unseen


Evidence of Things Unseen

Ray Foster is fascinated by light. During the war, he helps light up the battlefield so the soldiers can see what is in front of them. After the war, he continues to follow his amateur chemist's investigations. He is always trying to discover new "natural" lighting and a way to recreate it with science. When Flash, a former war buddy, asks Ray to start a photography business with him, Ray is in his glory.

On one of his amateur investigations of light, Ray meets a girl named Opal. The name seems so appropriate to Ray's life obsession with light, since an opal reflects light so wondrously and Opal, the girl, seems the perfect match as Ray's life partner. The three of them make the photography shop quite a success until Flash makes a decision that significantly impacts the lives of them all.

Ray and Opal eventually end up working at Oak Ridge, Tennessee during the time that the atomic bomb was being developed. Also around this time, Lightfoot comes into their lives. Opal has waited so long for a child.

The title of the book, EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN, could apply to many things discussed in the book. It could be the origin of the various light sources Ray found. It could be the atomic bomb itself. It could be radiation. It could be hope. It could be love. It could be self-knowledge. It could even be the unity of all matter in the universe.

EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN makes you think. It makes you wonder if this is more than just a story of three people living their day-to-day lives. It makes you wonder what author Marianne Wiggins is trying to tell you between the lines. After reading the book, I'm still not sure I know precisely what the author wanted to tell me. I do know that the book started slowly and that it was only during the final third that I began to "get" that what she was saying is that there is more to the story than just these people. She was trying to tell me something about life. Unfortunately, I still don't know exactly what that "something" is that she wanted to convey. I guess she means that the atomic bomb is a bad thing and that love is a good thing. I hope so because that is about the only moral I got out of the story.

The writing was good and I did enjoy reading about the characters after I got past the slow start. I kept waiting for more. But then it dawned on me that real life is much like this story. We live each day and not a lot of exciting things happen. Then one day it is all over, your life ends. What was the point? Does every life have a point --- yours and mine? What is it that we truly get out of life? What do we leave behind? Perhaps this is what the author was trying to get across --- just that we think about it.

Evidence of Things Unseen
by Marianne Wiggins

  • Publication Date: June 11, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN-10: 0684869691
  • ISBN-13: 9780684869698