A Novel

Book - 2010
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Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying chimpanzees, is running for her life with the child of a murdered fellow scientist after a civil war explodes. Jenny grabbing the notebooks of the primatologist who's been killed. She brings the girl to Chicago to await the discovery of her relatives. The girl is fifteen and lovely, her name is Lucy. Realizing that the child has no living relatives, Jenny begins to care for her as her own. When she reads the notebooks written by Lucy's father, she discovers that the adorable, lovely, magical Lucy is the result of an experiment. She is part human, part ape, a hybrid human being.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A Knopf,, 2010.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307272607
Branch Call Number: FIC GONZ
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 25 cm


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ArapahoeLesley Nov 10, 2016

I like the build up, I like the characters. I think the portrayal of the reaction to a human hybrid is frighteningly realistic. Unfortunately after 3/4 of a book of build up the climax is squeezed within 30 pages and lacks the horror and emotional impact that is successfully brought across in the rest of the book. Very good but could have been even better.

ArapahoeStaff12 Aug 03, 2016

A look at what it means to be truly human.

crankylibrarian Oct 19, 2010

The classic feral child story with a twist, an enfant sauvage not only raised by beasts, but genetically one of them. While fleeing an uprising in the Congo, primatologist Jenny Lowe rescues Lucy, the 14 year old daughter of fellow researcher David Stone. Although she senses there is something odd about the girl, it is not until after their return to the United States that Jenny realizes the truth: Lucy is a human/ape hybrid, produced by Dr Stone in a desperate attempt to preserve the best of humanity and his beloved bonobo apes. Determined to protect the girl, Jenny adopts her and tries to give her a "normal" suburban American life, but of course darker forces prevail. I had a few quibbles with this book. Lucy is almost too good to be true: brilliant and beautiful, she warbles Italian opera while butterflies light on her hand; spontaneously recites Kipling and Shakespeare; even cleans the kitchen without being asked! The villains on the other hand are all the usual suspects: religious wackos, faceless government bureaucrats, and pontificating politicos. Yet the core relationships, between Jenny and Lucy and their fiercely loyal extended family, are deeply moving. Gonzales deftly portrays Jenny's growing maternal attachment for Lucy, a love that transcends genetic barriers. Jenny never questions her commitment to Lucy, despite enormous pressure and danger. Gonzales also offers a wondrous window into Lucy's mind: notably her awareness of "the Stream", the ceaseless flow of nonverbal information through which all animals (except adult humans) communicate. One of the funniest, yet most moving passages describes Lucy's first day at an American high school, as she drinks in the potent adolescent "Stream" she sadly notes that becoming a human adult will mean losing this gift. Startlingly original and beautiful.

Oct 03, 2010

As war erupts in the Congo a primatologist, Jenny, discovers 15-year-old Lucy, the supposed daughter of another primatologist killed by rebels. Together they escape back to the US and start to build a life together. However, a shocking truth about Lucy's creation leads to all sorts of problems. What makes a person human? Can humanity be legislated? These and other questions are raised at least in passing in this story that is sure to appeal to teens as well as adults.

Aug 08, 2010

A well paced book.

Lucy was a likeable character, innocent, and portrayed "humanity" as we wish it was.

The book touched on some ethical and moral issues, but did not dwell on them, keeping the book lighter, and enjoyable.


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