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The Humanity Project: Book summary and reviews of The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson

The Humanity Project

by Jean Thompson

The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson X
The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson
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  • Published Apr 2013
    352 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

After surviving a shooting at her high school, Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, who doesn't quite understand how he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen adolescent girl. Art's neighbor, Christie, is a nurse distracted by an eccentric patient, Mrs. Foster, who has given Christie the reins to her Humanity Project, a bizarre and well-endowed charity fund.

Just as mysteriously, no one seems to know where Conner, the Fosters' handyman, goes after work, but he has become the one person Linnea can confide in, perhaps because his own home life is a war zone: his father has suffered an injury and become addicted to painkillers. As these characters and many more hurtle toward their fates, the Humanity Project is born: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price?

Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in The Humanity Project, crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Thompson achieves exceptional clarity and force in this instantly addictive, tectonically shifting novel ...Thompson is at her tender and scathing best in this tale of yearning, paradox, and hope."- Booklist

"Starred Review. A rare case of a novel getting it both ways: A formal, tightly constructed narrative that accommodates the mess of everyday lives." - Kirkus

"Thompson (The Year We Left Home) asks what can we actually do to change the lives of others, and investigates the value of good intentions, finding answers in the emotional lives of richly-drawn characters who do what they must–and what they think they must—in order to help the ones they love." - Publishers Weekly

This information about The Humanity Project 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

Jean Thompson Author Biography

Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Jean Thompson is the author of fourteen books of fiction, including the National Book Award finalist Who Do You Love, the NYT bestseller The Year We Left Home, and the NYT Notable Book Wide Blue Yonder. Her work has been published in the New Yorker, as well as dozens of other magazines, and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. She has been the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, and has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Reed College, Northwestern University, and many other colleges and universities.

Link to Jean Thompson's Website

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