Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307272607, 320pp.
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
Laurence Gonzales’s electrifying adventure opens in the jungles of the Congo. Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying chimpanzees—the bonobos—is running for her life.
A civil war has exploded and Jenny is trapped in its crosshairs . . . She runs to the camp of a fellow primatologist.
The rebels have already been there.
Everyone is dead except a young girl, the daughter of Jenny’s brutally murdered fellow scientist—and competitor.
Jenny and the child flee, 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 . . .
Laurence Gonzales’s novel grabs you from its opening pages and you stay with it, mesmerized by the shy but fierce, wonderfully winning Lucy.
"Michael Crichton fans will go ape for this fascinating [book]."
—PEOPLE (3 stars out of 4)
"What does it mean to be human? This question is at the heart of Gonzales’ multifaceted tale. . . Gonzales poses some big questions that readers will think about long after turning the last page. Lucy is a great read—and not just for adults. It’s not classified as a young adult novel, but it could easily become a YA hit as well as a best-seller in the general fiction market."
—Teresa Budasi, Chicago Sun-Times
"Eminently believable . . . both heartbreaking and heartwarming, hard to put down and hard to forget. It is original like Lucy."
—The Associated Press
“[Gonzales has] Crichton’s gift for page-turning storytelling, but also a vivid, literary-grade prose style, and a knack for getting inside his characters’ heads.”
—Entertainment Weekly (EW gave it an ‘A’)
“A fast-paced, thought-engendering book you’ll keep on reading, through heat or cold, rain or snow or sleet.”
—Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered
“Compelling. . . pulls the reader in because of the sweet girl at its center, but the novel also makes one think about what it means to be human, and how love can be a bridge to understanding and acceptance.”
"An imaginative leap in a nail-biting story. . .Gonzales raises profound questions about identity, family, animal and human rights, and genetic engineering without compromising the ever-escalating suspense. Lucy is irresistible, her predicament wrenching, and Gonzales’ imaginative, sweet-natured, hard-charging, and deeply inquisitive thriller will be a catalyst for serious thought and debate."
“Masterful. . . utterly memorable.”
“A fast-paced Crichtonesque thriller. . .”
—Entertainment Weekly, one of their 18 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer
Science-fiction novels have often foreshadowed very real scientific debates. Laurence Gonzales' new novel Lucy, about the trials of a human-animal hybrid, may be one of these books. The author speaks with host Scott Simon about his new thriller and the real-life scientific discoveries that inspired it. More at NPR.org
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