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Ember From the Sun Hardcover – September 1, 1996
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
From Publishers Weekly
A few years back, Canter, a journalist, dreamed up a great premise for his first novel: a Neanderthal alive in late-20th-century America. Problem is, two other writers have beaten him out?John Darnton in Neanderthal and Petru Popescu in Almost Adam. And Canter's story, despite its sincerity, has other problems. In it, a viable Neanderthal embryo is transplanted into a woman of the Quanoot tribe near Seattle. The child grows up as a golden-skinned girl, Ember, with powers of healing and empathy that convince some that she is Sisiutlqua, a powerful shaman. If the narrative were told entirely from Ember's viewpoint, her growing awareness of the physical and mental attributes that separate her from her peers might have generated a gripping tale. But Ember's voyage of self-knowledge begins with the discovery by paleoanthropologist Yute Nahadeh, in the Alaskan tundra, of the perfectly preserved Neanderthal woman who is Ember's original mother. Because Canter emphasizes the human rather than the scientific aspects of Ember's story, and for most of the tale keeps Ember from knowing she's Neanderthal, the narrative is disjointed. Yute and a major subplot about gold mining on tribal lands all but vanish after Ember's birth, only to reappear years later when the heroine seeks the secret of her origins. This leads to inconsistencies in Yute's character, which shifts from driven doctor to patient observer to crazed scientist. In essence, this story is a classic fairy tale in which an outcast child learns her true nature when she discovers that her real parents secreted her with commoners. But Canter's approach fails to do his premise, or his characters, particularly the appealing Ember, full justice. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection; simultaneous BDD Audio; foreign rights sold in Britain, France, Sweden, Holland and Japan; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA. A well-written thriller set in the 1970s. The story begins as Dr. Yute Nahadeh discovers a well-preserved, frozen Neanderthal woman in Alaska. As he studies the woman, he discovers that she was pregnant at her death. He decides to implant the embryo and create a Neanderthal to study firsthand. He finds a hungry, homeless teenage couple to serve as the surrogate parents. After the birth of the child, the couple decide that they cannot give her up and raise the baby girl named Ember. Neither of the parents knows her history. As Ember grows, she begins to question her heritage because she looks and acts so differently from other girls her age. The folks in her hometown either shun her or worship her for her differences. Ember eventually seeks out Dr. Nahadeh and they travel to the area where the frozen corpse was found. Ember's search for her people, Dr. Nahadeh's fanatical study of the Neanderthal, a modern mining project, and greed bring this novel to a surprising end. Readers will learn lots about the Neanderthal, contemplate the power of science, and enjoy a fast, good read.?Linda A. Vretos, West Springfield High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.