My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Sum it up in a sentence (or two): In this book (found at a thrift store and quickly snatched up by Jesus), a anthropologist (Jenny) rescues an orphaned teenage girl (Lucy), caught in the midst of a Congolese civil war. Jenny begins raising Lucy as her own daughter, but soon finds out she is more than just a teenage girl - she is also half bonobo.
First thoughts: In its early pages especially, Lucy feels like it's still finding its footing. It reads like an early draft, with lots of unnecessary description. Luckily that seems to fall away as the action progresses, but the dialogue remains stilted and awkward. My suspension of disbelief muscle had its work cut out for it as page after page I thought to myself, "Nope, that's not how that would happen," but the content kept me interested enough to keep reading.
Similarities: Jenny reminds me a lot of Diana from A Discovery of Witches - fiercely protective, smart, and tender all at the same time. Both characters have a strong resolve, but won't turn down a cup of tea or a glass of wine before getting down to business.
Book Club Discussions: I'm still waiting for Jesus to finish this so we can talk about it. Already (I think he's 30 pages in) he's like, "Why didn't you tell me xxxx happened in the first pages?" and I'm like "What? I don't remember that." so it'll be interesting to see how different our reading experiences are.
Final thoughts: I like the ending. I'm not sure why the characters didn't reach that natural conclusion earlier, but then I guess there wouldn't be a story. As a whole, Lucy brings up many questions of what it means to be human.
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