Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Laurence Gonzales
Lucy is a fourteen year-old girl who is, as my grandmother would say, smart as a whip. Apparently, she's part human and part...ape
Author: Laurence Gonzales
Lucy is a fourteen year-old girl who is, as my grandmother would say, smart as a whip. Apparently, she's part human and part...ape.
We begin with Jenny Lowe. Jenny works for a university and studies bonobos - which are the last of the great apes. She is in Congo, in the jungle, doing the job she loves, when the horrible sounds of the rocket-propelled grenades are launched by the insurgents. The Congo has been under constant fighting and Jenny needs to get away from her camp and get to the embassy so that her friend can get her out of the country before it's too late. Before she can escape, the guilt wracks her body; she knows she must first make it to the other camp miles away to try and rescue another researcher; David Stone, who has been deep in the jungle for years. There's been a rumor afoot that Stone has a daughter in the middle of this human crisis and Jenny needs to make sure that they're alright. Braving the horrors, she finally makes it to the camp to find David shot and a young, naked girl - with beautiful tan skin, dark green eyes, and long dark hair - sobbing over the body of a dead bonobo.
Jenny grabs all she can for the child, including her father's notebooks that explain the life they've been living in the jungle, and gets her out of there. Among the papers, she finds Lucy's birth certificate and passport so she can bring the poor child home with her and out of the hellish experience. Getting her on the plane is an experience; Lucy is scared to death. While flying, however, she shows her remarkable brilliance by quoting Shakespeare and Kipling; proving with every word she utters that her father raised an extremely sweet and intelligent girl. When they reach Chicago, where Jenny lives, Lucy begins to see and hear things that are truly foreign to her; she finds the noises and lights of the big city frightening, wanting nothing more than to be back in her dark, safe jungle, where she can communicate with the animals that she understands.
Jenny begins the adoption process after she reads the journals that David Stone left behind; she wants to protect Lucy and be her family. Lucy gets enrolled in school and, with her show of strength one day, becomes the favorite of the Coach - who makes Lucy his number one wrestler, leading his team to victory after victory. Lucy becomes best friends with Amanda - a young woman whose mother is mostly drunk who needs a friend like Lucy to show her the goodness that exists in her life. When Lucy becomes sick, the dark world begins, and Lucy goes from a wonderful girl to a science project.
There are some very lovely moments written by the author that truly make us think, such as television, texting - all these remarkable, "can't live without" devices that should frankly be thrown away so that people can actually speak to each other. There is even a funny mention about the Twilight books and how Lucy's father would never permit her to read "trash". There is also a poignant moment when Lucy is at the mall for the first time. She sees a young boy and a little girl playing and hugging, until their mothers come and break them up. She doesn't understand why the humans here have lost their joy - why their so busy and have that look on their faces that clearly shows they are just going through the motions. Lucy also can't understand the mowing of grass; the cutting down of trees; the amount of garbage that we throw away; and the waste we create...literally killing the world we say we love.
This world needs a Lucy. Unfortunately, the world as it stands now would do to Lucy exactly what the author has written. We would "tabloid" her to death; we would throw her in a cage and study her as if she had no moral or human rights; we would, essentially, break her. Because, as always, what we can't understand...we kill.
Enjoy the story. Not only is it exciting, it will teach you how acceptance is something we still haven't come to terms with.