From Publishers Weekly
With a talking iguana, a tree with a heart and an army of clones created from aborted fetuses, Morrow's latest is a treat for readers willing to take an imaginative leap. Philosophy ABD (all but dissertation) Mason Ambrose takes a job tutoring 17-year-old Londa Sabacthani after withdrawing his Ph.D. candidacy during a heated dissertation defense. Londa lost her moral center after a head injury, according to her mother, Edwina, a molecular geneticist with a reputation for being as smart as God, and it's Mason's highly compensated duty to help Londa regain her conscience. Soon after arriving on Edwina's remote Florida Keys island home, Mason discovers a separate estate where five-year-old Donya lives with two tutors hired after she lost her rectitude in a bicycle accident. Donya claims Edwina as her mother and, like Londa, believes she is an only child. The three tutors, sensing something grossly amiss, begin snooping and uncover a fertility scheme akin to a Dr. Frankenstein experiment. Meanwhile, Londa ventures out into the world and seeks to apply her newfound morality to American capitalism through whatever means necessary. Morrow guides readers through preposterous plot points without sacrificing plausibility. Strong characters, shots of humor and an unpredictable narrative make this a winner. (Mar.)
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Prolific and accomplished novelist Morrow (The Last Witchfinder, 2006) delivers an energetic if bent fable on the ethics of genetic engineering. When philosophy PhD candidate Mason Ambrose jettisons his dissertation defense after engaging in a boisterous argument with committe members, his job prospects look dismal. Then he’s offered an improbably lucrative gig tutoring 17-year-old Londa Sabacthani, whose mind is a blank slate after suffering a head injury. Her mother, Edwina, a famed molecular geneticist, wants Mason to give Londa a moral center. But all is not as it seems on the tropical paradise the Sabacthanis call home. In addition to a talking iguana, Mason encounters a 5-year-old girl who also claims Edwina as her mother. Mason soon learns he has stumbled into a narcissistic cloning scheme that has serious implications for the future of the country when Edwina’s “daughters” set out to take over the world. Morrow wraps his erudition in witty spurts of comedy, as likely to cite Socrates as Mister Rogers. --Joanne Wilkinson