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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Language of Equals is a work of fiction in the historical, dramatic and cross-cultural fiction sub-genres, and was penned by author David Ackley. Set during the outbreak of the First World War in the United Kingdom, this incredible tale of retaining cultural identity but striving for success packs a deep emotional punch. Our protagonist is Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematical genius brought to Cambridge University with the hopes of a new life and success, but his religious beliefs, race, and deteriorating health offer yet more struggles in an already war-torn climate. What results is an incredible tale of hardship and fortitude against increasingly difficult odds.
Author David Ackley has taken a leap of empathy into the mind of a fictional historical figure and truly dedicated himself to understanding the culture clash and struggle of coming to an entirely new world and trying to survive it, let alone with World War 1 beginning. Ramanujan is a highly relatable character for, despite his many differences with western culture, we can relate to the passion of his commitment to his faith, aspire to his raw genius, and feel his hurt when he is overlooked and isolated by his snobbish peers. The work takes a fascinating alternative look at WW1 by placing us at home with the great thinkers of the time, and I loved the literary style of the prose as it weaves us in and out of the world of mathematics. Overall, I would highly recommend The Language of Equals for readers seeking deep historical drama with true emotional resonance.