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.
When anthropologist Jenny Lowe brings Lucy, the teenage daughter of a murdered colleague, back home with her to Chicago from the Congo in Gonzales's glib biological thriller, Jenny puts the girl's behavioral quirks down to unfamiliarity with the world outside the jungle. But when Lucy shows uncommon strength, agility, and sensitivities typical of animals, Jenny is shocked to realize that Lucy is a "humanzee": half human, half bonobo. Lucy soon becomes a magnet for the controversy that has colored debates between creationists and evolutionists for decades, as well as an object of interest to a clandestine military think tank. Gonzales (Everyday Survival) condenses considerable topical discussion of evolution issues into his narrative, but his underdeveloped characters are little more than one-dimensional mouthpieces for the viewpoints they espouse. A tidy, anticlimactic ending fails to do justice to the many controversial points the novel raises. 100,000 first printing.