Lucy Morrigan, a young genetic researcher, lives with her boyfriend, Gray, and a strange collection of tenants in her crumbling family mansion. Surrounded by four generations of clothes, photographs, furniture, and other remnants of past lives, Lucy and Gray’s home life is strangely out of touch with the modern world–except for Lucy’s high-tech lab in the basement.
Frustrated by her unsuccessful attempts to attain motherhood or tenure, Lucy takes drastic measures to achieve both. Using a blood-stained scrap of an apron found in the attic, Lucy successfully clones her grandmother, Mary. But rather than conjuring a new baby, Lucy brings to life a twenty-two-year-old Mary, who is confused and disoriented when she finds herself trapped in the strangest sort of déjà-vu: alive in a home that is no longer her own, surrounded by reminders of a life she has already lived but doesn’t remember.
A remarkable debut novel, Mary Modern turns an unflinching eye on the joyous, heartbreaking, and utterly unexpected consequences of human desire.
Praise for Mary Modern
“Superbly creepy, original and well-executed…a grandly successful experiment in fiction.”
— Joy Tipping, The Dallas Morning News
“Charms and moves us…[A] heartbreaking fairytale of a novel.” — People
“What an inventive and testing book: Mary Modern may be the strangest package of fictional illusions that I’ve encountered for a long time, but Camille DeAngelis has pulled off every trick with a confident, extravagant flourish. She is a writer/magician whose debut novel is learned, engrossing, incessantly surprising, and extraordinarily touching.”
— Jim Crace, author of The Pesthouse and Being Dead
“Swift, witty and endlessly amusing…Partly because of the pacing, partly because of the story, but mostly because DeAngelis makes the reader care terribly about Mary, and what happens to her, the novel turns out to be difficult, if not impossible, to put down.”
— Kit Reed, The Hartford Courant
“Compelling and horrific…Lucy’s story of love and ambition will appeal not only to fans of gothic romance but also to book groups, whose discussions of bioethics, social responsibility, personal freedom, and the biological nature of memory will last into the wee hours.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“On a sentence-by-sentence, word-by-word level, this is a gorgeously executed novel. Step back a bit and the structure is equally intricate and well-wrought, cutting back and forth between then and now and then-as-now. DeAngelis is delight to read, and it quickly becomes apparent that we’re reading not science fiction, per se, but rather a gentle gothic.”
— Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column (full review)
@cometparty I’m just about to finish Mary Modern and I love it so much I had to stop and tweet at you about how much I love it.
— Mackenzi Lee (@themackenzilee) July 27, 2014