The Heart of Henry Quantum
Henry Quantum has several thoughts going through his head at any given time, so it’s no surprise when he forgets something very important—specifically, a Christmas gift for his wife, which he realizes on the morning of December 23. Henry sets off that day in search of the perfect present for her: a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume. But much like Henry’s ever-wandering mind, his quest takes him in different and unexpected directions, including running into the former love of his life, Daisy. His wife, meanwhile, unhappy in her marriage, is hiding a secret of her own. And Daisy, who has made the unsettling choice of leaving her husband to strike out on her own, finds herself questioning whether she and Henry belong together after all.
A sweet, funny, and touching debut from author Pepper Harding shows how the seemingly insignificant events of one single day can change our lives forever—perhaps, if we’re lucky, for the better.
Hear an Excerpt
Reading Group Guide
Middle-management advertising executive Henry Quantum has many thoughts going through his head at any given moment. With his mind racing from physics to philosophy, it’s no surprise that when December 23 comes around, Henry has forgotten to purchase a Christmas gift for his wife, Margaret. He sets off on a quest to purchase the perfect present: a bottle of Channel No. 5 from Macy’s. But diversions abound as he makes his way through the streets of San Francisco, including a surprise encounter with his former lover, Daisy. Margaret, meanwhile, is on her own quest to meet her current lover for a weekday tryst outside the city. And Daisy, newly separated from her husband, finds herself wondering if she and Henry were meant to be together after all. The Heart of Henry Quantum illustrates the difference a day can make when fate steps in.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Over lunch, Henry claims that he doesn’t demand anything of Margaret, prompting Daisy to respond, “That’s because you don’t love see more