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Titre : The Evolution of Jane
Éditeur : Houghton Mifflin
Date d'édition : 1998
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat du livre : Fine
Etat de la jaquette : Fine
Signé : Signed by Author
Edition : 1st Edition.
First Edition (first printing). The fifh novel by the author of ALICEIN BED and RAMEAU'S NIECE, the story of two cousins who are unexpectedly reunited on a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Fine/Fine. Signed by Schine on the title page. N° de réf. du libraire 423
Synopsis : In four previous novels, Cathleen Schine has enchanted readers with her special brand of brainy wit and wry affection for her endearingly flawed characters. Now the best-selling author of The Love Letter takes a hilarious trip to the Galapagos Islands with a comedy of natural selection. Jane Barlow Schwartz is obsessed with one question: why did her best friend Martha stop being her best friend? The two girls, distant cousins, had shared idyllic childhood summers in the New England seaside town of Barlow, named for their family's founding fathers. Martha was not just Jane's friend but her idol, her soul mate, her confidante. Then, somewhere along the line, the friendship ended. What went wrong? Was it the family feud, which their parents spoke of only in hushed tones? What did Jane's dotty great-aunt reveal to Martha on her deathbed? Did Jane do something unforgivable? When the cousins are reunited unexpectedly on a tour of the Galapagos, they meet Darwin head on. In the pristine Pacific waters, amid blue-footed boobies and red-lipped batfish, Jane traces back through her Yankee-Cuban-Jewish ancestry to try to pinpoint the "splitting event," the moment when Martha was no longer the Martha she knew. In the process, she ponders the origin of species and the origin of friendship, the instincts of exotic wildlife and of her eccentric shipmates, the evolution of nature and of her life. The result is an antic mating of family saga and natural history. Bearing Schine's "astute ability to sum up modern relationships" (People), as well as her "wonderfully inventive comic voice" (New York Times Book Review), The Evolution of Jane sparkles with keen observations on the species known as humans. Above all, it is a warm-hearted tribute to that unique adaptation of girlhood, the selection of a very best friend.
Critique: It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a Cathleen Schine heroine goes off in search of her origins, she's likely to travel farther than most--and bound to come up against more than the average obstacle. Jane Barlow Schwartz, for instance, heads not for her New England childhood home but for the consolations of the Galapagos Islands. "You're searching for your roots," her father quips. "On a dormant volcano?" And this is only one of the thousands of witticisms on offer in Cathleen Schine's novel of lost friendship, the perplexing power of the family feud, and more than one shipboard mystery. When Jane, 25 and a brand-new divorcée, arrives in Ecuador for her ecological tour, she instantly recognizes the guide as her relative and childhood best friend. Martha, the cousin in question, however, takes several beats longer--a clear signal that both still have some evolving to do. As Jane quickly reveals, Martha was the real grand passion in her life, and now she's determined to get to the bottom of her idol's disenchantment, not to mention explore the evolutionary value of friendship. Charles Darwin is definitely much in evidence in The Evolution of Jane, and Schine has some serious fun with Jane's confusion when it comes to species survival. But her fifth novel is also filled with some provocative, perfectly timed aperçus on natural, romantic, and most definitely familial selection. --Kerry Fried
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