Have you ever lost a friend?
This is a book about friendship and change, feuds and secrets, evolution, the Galapagos Islands, loss, and, again, friendship.
Jane and Martha are cousins and childhood friends, best-friends.
Have you ever lost a friend? A friend like that?
(I have, actually, which inspired this book. I am a Darwin freak, too — he’s such a good writer; read another wonderful writer on Darwin, Adam Gopnick’s piece inThe New Yorker here.)
(And I did, by the way, go to the Galapagos, which did unfortunately include the intestinal unpleasantness toward the end of the book).
When Jane does lose her best friend, she is baffled and hurt. Then, years later, she takes a trip to the Galapagos and meets Martha again. Amidst the blue-footed boobies, the comical passengers, the memories and the legacy of Charles Darwin, Jane obsessively and often foolishly, but always passionately, tries to understand the mystery of friendship and the even greater mystery of change.
"We should rejoice in a rare novel like The Evolution of Jane . . . A rollicking family saga tinged with hints of sexual intrigue . . . Three cheers."
—Barbara Kingsolver, The New York Times Book Review