Dr. Victoria and Her Frankenstein*

I was just talking to Hanna last night about what a time travel junkie I am: if the novel has time travel in it, I'm there. I blame this on Jack Finney's Time and Again, although it's possible that exposure to the chronological idiosyncrasies in The Chronicles of Narnia as a child weakened my immunity.

Over winter break, I picked up entirely by chance a first novel by author Camille DeAngelis, which is, in its own way, a story of time-displacement. Mary Modern, a beautiful and heartbreaking re-telling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, is set in the near future. Lucy Morrigan, a brilliant young geneticist, turns to her father's mysterious basement laboratory when all attempts to conceive a child with her boyfriend Grey fail. She successfully clones her grandmother Mary, but instead of an infant she ends up with a twenty-two year old woman with memories of a life she never lived and a husband who is long dead.

It is Lucy's irrevocable actions that drive the narrative forward, but it is Mary's voice and strength of character that capture our attention as she wrestles with the unutterable solitude of her existence and the question of how to move forward into an unknown future.

*Thanks to brother Brian for the title of this post, which is shamelessly stolen from the "Girlz n' Monsterz" series by J. Scott Cambell.

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