The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson

84%

5 Critic Reviews

They are to a certain degree archetypes; they also exhibit vast reserves of strength and endurance. There’s real beauty in the way Thompson has them serve one another...
-NY Times

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home, a dazzling new novel hailed as an “instantly addictive...tale of yearning, paradox, and hope.” (Booklist
 
After surviving a horrific shooting at her high school, fifteen-year-old Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, in California. Art, not much more than a child himself, doesn’t quite understand how or why he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen—and probably deeply damaged—adolescent girl. And although Linnea has little interest in her father, she becomes fascinated by the eccentric cast of characters surrounding him: Conner, a local handyman whose own home life is a war zone, and Christie, her neighbor, who has just been given the reins to a bizarrely named charity fund, the Humanity Project. As the Fund gains traction and Linnea begins to heal, the Humanity Project begs the question: 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.
 

About Jean Thompson

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JEAN THOMPSON is the author of three previous novels, The Year We Left Home, City Boy (a National Book Award finalist), and Wide Blue Yonder, and three story collections. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.
 
Published April 23, 2013 by Plume. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Humanity Project
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Helen Schulman on May 17 2013

They are to a certain degree archetypes; they also exhibit vast reserves of strength and endurance. There’s real beauty in the way Thompson has them serve one another...

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by SUZANNE BERNE on Apr 17 2013

Ms. Thompson has written an energetically mordant novel about our difficult times, a novel that doesn’t pretend to have any answers, comfortable or otherwise, but that vividly, insistently poses questions we should be asking.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 01 2013

Thompson's thoughtful new novel ponders the sins we commit in the name of love and our capacity for compassion.

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Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 03 2013

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

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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Ellen Akins on Apr 20 2013

The widow’s Humanity Project, along with her generosity in general, does fold these characters and some others into one rangy story. But it’s Thompson’s own humanity project that’s really interesting, heartfelt and farther-reaching.

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Reader Rating for The Humanity Project
66%

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Karen Russo

Karen Russo 5 Sep 2013

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Diane Bellora 5 Sep 2013

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