Schine, Cathleen. The Evolution of Jane. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.
It all starts when Jane’s mother thinks twenty five year old Jane needs a vacation to mend a broken heart. Jane has been left by her husband of only six months and while it has taken Jane only half that long to get over the abandonment she does not dispute her mother’s “quaint notion.” It is on this trip she has always wanted to take, to the Galapagos Islands, that Jane discovers her long-lost, once best friend, and cousin Martha is a guide. As Martha and Jane had fallen out of friendship Jane is baffled by this coincidence and is unsure how to proceed with her feelings and actions. She spends the entire vacation obsessing about the failed relationship.
The story itself jumps from the past to the present in an effort to explain Jane and Martha’s childhood friendship. Despite a mysterious family feud that split the rest of the family the two cousins were inseparable for a period of time. Until one day they weren’t. Jane’s obsession over what went wrong dominates the trip to the Galapagos. Even when her roommate tells her “let sleeping dogs lie” she can’t let it go.
Quotes I liked: “But I saw immediately that Martha was too familiar to meet for the first time” (p 13) and “I had traveled across two continents, from one ocean to another in order to be washed up on a beach with my next-door neighbor” (p 36).
Reason read: In honor of Charles Darwin’s birth month being in February. Simple enough.
Author Fact: Catherine Schine has an author page on LibraryThing with absolutely nothing on it.
Book Trivia: It was neat to find a New York Times review written by my favorite author, Barbara Kingsolver. She endorsed the book heavily because of its evolutionary and anthropological accuracies.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Galloping Through the Galapagos” (p 88).