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Mary Modern: 08/23/10

cover art

Mary Modern by Camille Deangelis is one of those books that's been making the rounds at our Tri-Valley BookCrossing group. I've been going through a Gothic phase in my reading and thought it was time to pull this book off myself. I'm glad I did.

Dr. Lucy Morgan is a geneticist living in her family home now owned by the local university. She and her lover Gray want to have a child but are unable so she resorts to starting up her father's research to clone her grandmother, Mary. What she doesn't expect is a fully grown Mary with memories dating back to 1929.

When I was first reading the book and describing it to friends, I called it a modern day Frankenstein but as I continued to read the book I realized the book had more in common with Philip K. Dick than Mary Shelley. The central theme isn't so much about cheating death but about memories and their power over the human condition.

There is also a B plot involving time travel, with a man who in 1958 wrote a book about every day life in the twenty-first century. While it's mostly a throw away plot device, it further adds to the over all P.K.D. experience. With Philip K. Dick in mind I predicted the ending and that took the book from being a three star book to a four star book.

Why not a solid five? There's the problem of Mary supposedly being from 1929 and from a well to do, well educated, college town. She doesn't act like a woman who came to age during the Roaring Twenties. She acts more like a woman from the teens than the twenties and that inconsistency gets in the way of an otherwise delightful book.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Tuesday, August, 24, 2010 at 10:40:07


It sounds a little creepy at first but it also sounds intriguing. I'll add this one to the list. Thanks.

Comment #2: Friday, August 27, 2010 at 10:07:04


It does have some creepy moments. That's part of the fun.

COmment #3: Tuesday, August, 24, 2010 at 12:05:13

Michelle @ The True Book Addict

I saw this several years ago in one of my book clubs and wanted to order it, but never did. Luckily, I came across it at a library sale and picked it up for cheap. It sounds like such a good one. I definitely need to edge it closer to the top of the TBR mountain...LOL! Great review. =O)

Comment #4: Friday, August 27, 2010 at 10:08:20


Oh go ahead and stick it at the top. Whenever you do read it, I'll be interested in hearing what you thought of the book.

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