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The Evolution of Annabel Craig Summary and Reviews

The Evolution of Annabel Craig

A Novel

by Lisa Grunwald

The Evolution of Annabel Craig by Lisa Grunwald X
The Evolution of Annabel Craig by Lisa Grunwald
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  • Published Apr 2024
    320 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

A young Southern woman sets out on a journey of self-discovery as the infamous 1925 Scopes Trial tests her faith and her marriage in this moving novel from the author of Time After Time and The Irresistible Henry House.

I had never questioned a miracle, witnessed a gunfight, or seen a dead body... . I had thought I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn't. Before the summer was over, all that and much more would change.

Annabel Hayes—born, baptized, and orphaned in the sleepy conservative town of Dayton, Tennessee—is thrilled to find herself falling quickly and deeply in love with George Craig, a sophisticated attorney newly arrived from Knoxville. But before the end of their first year of marriage, their lives are beset by losses. The strain on their relationship is only intensified when John T. Scopes is arrested for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution at the local high school.

Foreshadowing today's culture wars, the trial against Scopes is a spectacle unlike any the country has seen. William Jennings Bryan—a revered Southern politician—joins the prosecution, pitting himself and his faith against the renowned defense attorney Clarence Darrow. Journalists descend in a frenzy, thrusting the town and its citizens into the national spotlight. And when George joins the team defending Scopes, Annabel begins to question both her beliefs and her vows.

As the ongoing trial divides neighbor against neighbor, it also divides the Craigs in unexpected ways. But in the midst of these conflicts—one waged in an open courtroom, the other behind closed doors—Annabel will discover that the path to her own evolution begins with the courage to think for herself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Layered and timely...Grunwald provides vivid depictions...as well as a nuanced and well-rounded view. With book bans and anti-trans legislation tearing apart school districts, Grunwald's evenhanded historical speaks volumes to the present day." —Publishers Weekly

"Grunwald's research is admirable...and Annabel offers some important insights: 'Women made the small decisions and men made the big ones. The small decisions often had the biggest consequences.'" —Kirkus Reviews

"Beloved author Lisa Grunwald puts readers in the center of the real-life trial that divided a town and captivated a nation. Sensitive, poignant, and full of heart, this is a tale that feels both important and inevitable. We all studied the Scopes Trial in school, but Grunwald's retelling is stunningly timely and relevant for today." —Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

"Lisa Grunwald is a national treasure and The Evolution of Annabel Craig is proof. Annabel, the voice of this splendid novel, is feisty, curious, and a survivor. When the historic Scopes Trial unfolds in her hometown, Dayton, Tennessee, her citizens, or Annabel will never be the same. When Annabel's beliefs are challenged and her faith in love is tested, she finds her truth. This is an essential American story from a master craftsman." —Adriana Trigiani, author of The Good Left Undone

"Lisa Grunwald has created a luminous heroine in Annabel Craig, a woman finding her way in a fast-changing world, forced to question everything she loves and stands for, from her choice of a husband to her spiritual beliefs. Eerily resonant in today's troubled times, this is a magnificent, page-turning story full of heart and bursting with empathy." —Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Spectacular

This information about The Evolution of Annabel Craig was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Lisa Grunwald Author Biography

Photo: Jon LaPook

Lisa Grunwald is the author of seven novels, including Time After Time, The Irresistible Henry House, and The Theory of Everything. Along with her husband, former Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, she edited the anthologies The Marriage Book, Women's Letters, and Letters of the Century. Grunwald is an occasional essayist and runs a side hustle called ProcrastinationArts, where she sells the other things she makes with pencils and paper. She lives in New York City.

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Link to Lisa Grunwald's Website

Other books by Lisa Grunwald at BookBrowse
  • The Irresistible Henry House jacket
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