The term "visual poem" gets thrown around a lot when describing Terrence Malick's most recent work, starting with 2011's Tree of Life. Even before then his films relied heavily on visuals to help tell the story, but his work increasingly favors beautiful imagery and strives towards creating feelings and moods more so than a continuous narrative thread. Thus, dialogue is intermittent and often jumps around. I can certainly see why this might not appeal to people.
The Atomic Weight of Love is an outstanding debut novel. Meridian Wallace puts her dreams of a Masters and PhD. on hold and follows her husband, Alden Whetstone, to Los Alamos, New Mexico where he helps develop the atomic bomb. Meridian’s unfinished scholarly work in ornithology leads her to question her life with Alden, who becomes more interested in his work and must lead a rather secretive life.
In the opening sequence, Addie Moore, a 70 year old widow, invites her neighbor Louis, also a widower, to spend the night with her. She makes it clear from the beginning that it’s not about sex. “I’m talking about getting through the night. And lying warm in bed, companionably.” They proceed to do just that and stay up late talking in the dark. Their confessions are memorable and important and when Addie's grandson comes to stay with her for the summer some unforeseen complications arise.