Friday, February 1, 2008
Suspend your disbelief?
Can you? I did, when I read Mary Modern, the first novel by Camille DeAngelis. This was an utterly absorbing book about Lucy Morrigan, a genetic researcher at a small college in Massachusetts. Lucy lives in a big sprawling house that has been in her family for four generations and not much has been removed in that time. Lucy finds herself unable to become pregnant and decides to clone her grandmother, Mary. Unfortunately, things don't go quite as planned, and instead of a baby, when Mary is 'finished' she is a 22 year old woman, wondering who are these people in her house and what have they done with her husband and her things. The story then becomes primarily Mary's as she comes to terms with her life and the world around her. Restaurants, clothing shops, transportation, the informality with which people treat one another - this is all new to her. Many things happen to Mary, but I think those things are best appreciated as a surprise - that is to say, no spoilers here.
I was reading along and thinking what a unique book this was, when I remembered Miss Ranskill. What a coincidence. Two women, in a place they thought they knew, where everything has changed and one does not understand the world as it is now. The method was different, but the story is in many ways similar.
Lucy is not a very likable character but Mary certainly is and I hoped she would find happiness in her new life. The novel is tinged with sadness in many ways, but I thought the story was well-executed and I really, really loved how the author tied up all the loose strings in the end.
(Please forgive me any goofy spellings....blogger will not run spell check....among other things...grr)