The Humanity Project
By Jean Thompson
(Plume, Paperback, 9780142180907, 352pp.)
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home, a dazzling new novel hailed as an “instantly addictive...tale of yearning, paradox, and hope.” (Booklist)
After surviving a horrific shooting at her high school, fifteen-year-old Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, in California. Art, not much more than a child himself, doesn’t quite understand how or why he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen—and probably deeply damaged—adolescent girl. And although Linnea has little interest in her father, she becomes fascinated by the eccentric cast of characters surrounding him: Conner, a local handyman whose own home life is a war zone, and Christie, her neighbor, who has just been given the reins to a bizarrely named charity fund, the Humanity Project. As the Fund gains traction and Linnea begins to heal, the Humanity Project begs the question: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price?
Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in The Humanity Project, crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society.