The Evolution of Jane by Cathleen Schine

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In this "witty novel about family, friendship, and survival of the fittest,"* Cathleen Schine, one of our most astute social observers, examines the origin of species alongside the origins of who we come to be.

In some mysterious family feud or unintended slight, Jane Barlow Schwartz lost a friend, her cousin and soul mate, Martha. But years later, surrounded by the exotic wildlife of the Galapagos, Jane and Martha meet again. There, amid the antics of blue-footed boobies and red-lipped batfish, Jane sets off on a quest through her family history to pinpoint the moment when Martha was no longer the Martha she knew. In the process, she ponders instinct, natural selection, and the oddities of evolution that transform us.  As Barbara Kingsolver proclaimed in The New York Times Book Review, "We should rejoice in a rare novel like The Evolution of Jane . . . A rollicking family saga tinged with hints of sexual intrigue . . . Three cheers."


About Cathleen Schine

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Author Cathleen Schine was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1953. She received a BA from Barnard College in 1976. She is both a novelist and a freelance writer. Two of her novels, The Love Letters and Rameau's Niece, were made into movies. She has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and Family Circle. She currently lives in New York City.
Published April 14, 2011 by Mariner Books. 236 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Action & Adventure, Arts & Photography. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Not willing to broach the subject to Martha, but convinced that the traumatic separation was somehow her fault, Jane speculates endlessly as to the cause, and so relives a tortured family history complete with living in a town named for her ancestor, a mysterious feud that left her parents refusi...

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Publishers Weekly

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For Jane, the question of ""the transmutation of friendship"" takes on the urgency of a scientific quest, which she pursues in whimsical fashion, inadvertently getting herself into hilarious situations--especially when she thinks she is competing with Martha for the attentions of an attractive yo...

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Entertainment Weekly

Stumbling out of a reckless six-month marriage, Jane Barlow Schwartz is sent on a recovery trip to the Galapagos Islands by her parents.

Nov 13 1998 | Read Full Review of The Evolution of Jane


Schine (The Love Letter) provides an apt locale for Jane's explorations of loss and change: the Galápagos Islands, where scientist Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution in the 19th century.

Oct 19 1998 | Read Full Review of The Evolution of Jane

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