Madeleine Henry’s ‘The Love Proof’ crafts connections among readers

PINE PLAINS — Having crafted the perfect love story about pursuing lasting connections in a time when such connections are vital for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, author Madeleine Henry joined the Pine Plains Free Library’s March Book Club meeting on Thursday, March 4, to discuss her new book, “The Love Proof.” 

According to Amazon.com, “The Love Proof” details the story between Sophie Jones and Jake Kristopher and how it inspires Sophie, a physics prodigy, to pursue her study of the nature of time, determined to prove “that true loves belong together in all realities.”

At the gathering, club members gathered via Zoom to discuss Henry’s novel with Pine Plains Free Library Assistant Alexis Tackett, who led the group in a brief discussion about the book before Henry appeared shortly after they began.

Fascinated by Sophie, the group discussed the elements that composed her character as well as the idea that, for Sophie, “achievement doesn’t feed the soul, connection does.” 

Considering the story’s pace, some readers felt it was slow to start but picked up toward the middle; others felt they were able to get into the story quickly. Reflecting on the idea of new love as captured in Henry’s novel caused readers to reminisce their own stories of first loves with the group. 

When Tackett asked if they thought Sophie’s potential was wasted when she fell in love with Jake or whether it gave her the finer things of life, readers considered which they would choose and shared their thoughts on Sophie’s path.

It wasn’t long before the group welcomed Henry, who enthusiastically shared her excitement to be there. Delivering an overview of Henry’s career, Tackett highlighted the author’s two novels, “Breathe In, Cash Out” and “The Love Proof,” both of which have been reviewed by publications like The Washington Post and The New York Post. She also revealed that Henry is a 2014 graduate of Yale, where her characters in “The Love Proof” first meet.

To start the Q&A, readers asked Henry how much research she did for her new book, given all the content related to physics.

“To me, this is first and foremost a love story and is, to me, a very unique and emotional love story,” Henry said, “and so the research process, I view all the facts as enhancing and heightening the emotion and so I would always start emotion first and I would think, ‘OK, what do I really want people to feel?’ and then I would try and find a fact to go along with that.”

When talking about “how materials that fuse together in a vacuum space could never be separated,” Henry said she really wanted to tighten the intimacy of the moment and how connected her characters are and find the facts to elicit that emotion. 

Describing her research process as “very dispersed,” she referenced an interview featuring SpaceX Founder Elon Musk. She said when Musk was asked how he learned so much about rockets, he said he read books. For Henry, she said “anything you want to find the answer to” can be found online, which led to a lot of scavenging around for the facts she found the most compelling for telling the love story.

From the first inkling of the idea for her book to the finished novel, Henry revealed that the process for writing “The Love Proof” took about three years, the bulk of which involved a year of intensive writing followed by revision. 

When asked what she studied at Yale, she replied that she studied psychology to pursue her fascination with the human mind, an interest she indulges when writing.

As the author engaged with her readers on a personal level, she shared her thoughts on her characters, responding to questions thoughtfully and with warmth. Responding to her readers’ curiosity about the ending of “The Love Proof” and whether there will be another book to continue Jake and Sophie’s story, Henry said if the story is adapted and becomes a film or TV series, then she’ll write a sequel because then there will be enough people craving more Jake and Sophie. 

She’s going to wait until then, when people make a real demand to find out what happens next before writing a follow-up story on the characters featured in “The Love Proof,” said the author, although she admitted having created connections with her own characters, even she said wants to see how things play out.

After celebrating the release of her new novel, “The Love Proof,” in February, author Madeleine Henry answered questions from area readers regarding her creative process and character development at the Pine Plains Free Library’s Book Club meeting on Thursday, March 4. Photo submitted

Photo submitted

After celebrating the release of her new novel, “The Love Proof,” in February, author Madeleine Henry answered questions from area readers regarding her creative process and character development at the Pine Plains Free Library’s Book Club meeting on Thursday, March 4. Photo submitted

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