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Mary Modern

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3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  627 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Lucy Morrigan, a young genetic researcher, lives with her boyfriend, Gray, and an odd 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.

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Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Broadway Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,155)
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karen
my emotional development stopped at the "tell me a story" phase, and that's all i expect from a book. i don't need it to change my life, i don't need it to answer every one of my questions, i don't need it to teach me about any historical atrocity.

this is not a perfect book, but it is a deeply entertaining book. it's true that the characters are largely unlikable, but thats also true of wuthering heights and jude the obscure, two of my all-time favorites. if it's the idea of cloning that is ups
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Lisa
This is really like one and a half star -worthy. The premise was so interesting: a biogenetic researcher who finds out she can't have children clones her own grandmother from blood she finds on an apron in the house her family has lived in for four generations. The grandmother is "born" at age 22, with all her memories intact up to that time.

But the plot gets convoluted, and the characters become whiny and annoying at best. The choppy writing and constant moving through time leaves the reader c
...more
Miriam
The only thing I liked in this book was the description of the house the characters lived in. Otherwise I thought they were all unlikeable and found their relationships, feelings, posited intellectual brilliance etc completely unbelievable.
Christine
I wanted to love this book. The concept was great - a biologist who can't conceive clones her grandmother, who suddenly turns into a 20 year old woman with vague memories of who she was.
Then I started reading. The book is written in present tense. And is completely non-sequitor. Conversations don't flow naturally, and when they do, I have no idea what they're talking about. The author obviously knows a lot about art history and history in general, but since none of it was actually relevant to th
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Jaymie
I actually did not finish this book but after 160 pages or so I just figured there were better books on my list than this. I really wanted to like it. The idea was interesting. A scientist clones her dead grandmother who comes to life as a 20 year old. I guess this is the reason I don't read science fiction. I just could not get over the fact that it was so improbable. And the characters who roomed with the main character were just creepy and unbelievable. I would never have let them live in my ...more
Cathy
Well done! I was intrigued by the premise of the novel, and not sure what to expect from other reviews. But I was very satisfied. The book tackles not only biology and ethical issues, but politics, history, family, belonging, and the list goes on. It could be construed as a "mishmash" of styles and tones, but I found the mixture to be brilliantly and carefully executed. There are parts that could be slightly horror-style (see the comparisons to Frankenstein); some are distinctly quirky and just ...more
Lis
I had high hopes for this one, because I liked a different book by the author, and I LOVED the premise for this one. It sounded so perfect for me.

And it did start out perfect, because I do like how this author writes. She opens with the most lovely description of a house - and it could be my dream house. Unfortunately, she then peoples it with the most annoying, trivial lot of characters I've ever read grouped into one book. I hated everyone. (And it didn't help that she used them as mouthpieces
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Kristin
The premise of this book was extremely entertaining, but I was distracted by the heavy anti-religion, anti-Bush, anti-conservative, anti-anything against cloning language. The story would have flowed much more smoothly if it weren't for the jarring rants against the government; I think the book would have been much better as just a story, not an attempt at politically bashing the other side of the debate. I liked the story itself, and thought that the characters were fairly well-developed. There ...more
Jennifer Burns
Jan 04, 2008 Jennifer Burns rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone looking for something different
This book is quite bizarre. It's also surprising, suspenseful, enchanting, and entertaining. It's really hard to categorize, but it definitely has some science fiction elements with a little love thrown in for good measure.

My only complaint: Deangelis breaks up the story into short one page chapters that start with a time and place. This is rather annoying because the story doesn't really flow all that well, but I guess that's the appeal. All of the chunks eventually piece together to form an un
...more
Trin
In which there is time travel via cloning, basically. This starts out slow; I didn’t really get into it until Mary is (re)born. Then Lucy, Mary’s granddaughter whose biogenetics research has given her life, is moved more into the background—a relief, as she’s a rather unsympathetic character. Also, Grey, Lucy’s long-suffering boyfriend, finally comes alive. I loved Grey and Mary’s complex interactions, and while the novel’s final “twist” is—intentionally?—telegraphed from the very beginning, I e ...more
Ginny Arrington
They say never judge a book by its cover but I broke that rule when it came to Mary Modern. I was studying at the library when I looked up and noticed this book on the shelf. I thought the cover was very pretty and the title was intriguing. During my study break I picked up the book and read its synopsis and thought it was an interesting concept: When scientist,Lucy Morrigan and her boyfriend, Gray are unsuccessful in conceiving a child, she decides to clone her grandmother from a scrap of a blo ...more
Betsy
This modern day version of Frankenstein was a page-turner- the concept of bringing one's own grandmother back into a future that completely bewilders her was well-written. Ultimately I found the book possibly a bit wordier than it needed to be but still interesting.I felt I got to know the character of Gray, Lucy's boyfriend and Mary, her grandmother better than I did Lucy, herself. Her motivations were not entirely clear unless it was just a compulsion to see if she could actually clone someone ...more
Bobbi
I really liked the concept of this book - cloning a dead relative, but I think I would have written it differently. It needed more motive, characterization, and better dialog. I knew that the story would come full circle somehow, so the ending wasn't that much of a surprise. I did feel that it needed more of a climax though. I think what I enjoyed the most about the book was the setting, an old, decrepit house with dusty relics of past generations and secret passageways.
Celia
This was a very strange and interesting book. Quite different from some of the other choices of our bookclub, this novel had a lot of creepy ideas, like cloning your grandmother and dealing with her as a young woman. I thought the writing was sometime over the top, and she used the novel as a vehicle for spouting her political views, which sometimes got in the way of the narrative. Somebody didn't do a good job in editing this, but all in all, a very different story.
Isshi69nikkei
Nowa Mary spokojnie dostałaby 4 gwiazdki, gdyby nie dwie rzeczy na które mam alergię:
- niedopracowanie fabuły i 'dziurawe' zakończenie
- opisy w czasei teraźniejszym.
O ile to pierwsze to subiektywne odczucie, że mogło być nieco lepiej, to sposób prowadzenia narracji jest niewybaczalny i zawsze, ZAWSZE, sprawia, że mam wrażenie iż czytam fanfiction pisane przez nastolatkę w języku którego nie zna na tyle, by używać innych czasów niż podstawowy-teraźniejszy. Szkoda, bo poza tym to naprawdę dobra k
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Dana
I found this to be a very interesting book. It was a little off the beaten path of the historical fiction I would normally choose to read but it was a nice change of pace. I had to adjust to the book being written in present tense as well as ignore the irrelevant, and irritating, anti-conservative jabs the author made throughout. The concept of the book is fascinating and shows the ripple effect of a bad decision. It was a little slow getting started but once I got into it, I had a hard time put ...more
Becky
Interesting story of a modern day Frankenstein who clones then "gives birth" to her grandmother in the name of love and not being able to have a child of her own. At some points it was really bizarre - I thought it was going to turn into a zombie book. Other times I was thinking this was a tragic love story. For the majority of the book I was fascinated by the characters and their story. I would recommend it to others but it is pretty weird. Those I've described the premise to have given me real ...more
Mackenzi
If Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in the 21st century, this is what it would look like.
Love.
Sarah
DeAngelis created a first novel that made me think. Now, it wasn't the best adult novel I've read, but it was fairly interesting. Basically, Lucy can't have a child and wants one. Since she is a genetic researcher, she clones DNA from her grandmother's apron and creates a child. But the child comes out of the incubator as a 22 year old woman with her memories intact. Instead of living in the 1920s, she's in modern America and has to adjust. This book is a combination of sc-fi, romance, family dr ...more
Linda Cee
Truthfully I don't know which of my shelves to put this on, it has elements of science fiction, historical fiction, romance and fantasy. But I think I'll stick with sci-fi since it is mostly about a clone of a long dead woman. It started out interesting with odd characters and a new romance but quickly changed lanes for a while with a science experiment and some tech-y stuff that made it a bit slow, the action picked up again fairly quickly though and I couldn't put it down right through until I ...more
Jen Bookout
Summary
Living in her crumbling ancestral house and frustrated with impediments to her scientific research and her own infertility, geneticist Lucy Morrigan decides to clone a baby. Using DNA obtained from her grandmother's stained apron in the attic, Lucy thinks she will simultaneously achieve a scientific breakthrough while obtaining a child of her own. Things soon get out of Lucy's control, however, when she discovers that the clone will be "born" at the same age and with the same memories as
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Michelle
(3.5 stars) Lucy is a scientist specializing in genetics/cloning. Despite her modern career, she delights in the past and enjoys living in her ancestral home among the family antiques. She delights in raiding the closets for interesting outfits. We meet her as she has her first date with Gray, also a professor. He enjoys her quirks and her collection of boarders who apparently belong to a secret society involving vegetarianism (which has now lapsed) and abstinence. As Lucy and Gray's relationshi ...more
GoldenjoyBazyll
Imgine cloning yor grandmother from a blood stained apron found in your attic.... that is what this book is about. I will admit.... there is a side to this that is freakish and a side that is totally interesting. In the story- the main character- who is a genetic researcher- is dying to have kids as well as gain tenure at her job. As how life often goes.... nothing was falling into place in her time so.... she takes drastic measures. She clones her grandmother by using that blood stained apron s ...more
Jill
I'm not very far into this book, but I'm going to have some trouble with this one. The premise is so implausible, a woman who can't have kids, clones her grandmother in some kind of incubator but when the her grandmother/aka CHILD comes out of the incubator, she comes out as a fully grown person in her 20s who retains all of the grandmother's memories? I mean, other books I read are implausible, a boy could not actually run through a brick wall and climb aboard a train that takes him to a castle ...more
Mandi
This book is a great example of modern gothic fiction. A geneticist struggles with infertility, and her obsession with having a child (and making a new scientific discovery) leads her to clone her grandmother, accidentally creating a 22-year-old version of her instead of a baby. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I see the purpose of the political parts of the book in reference to cloning and the government trying to shut down the illegal labs, but including all those pages of political diatr ...more
Joanna
A review of the audio recording:
I listened to the unabridged audio recording of this book. The primary reader did a passable job with the text, but seemed to have trouble differentiating the characters. Both Lucy and her boyfriend Gray seemed to have the same voice, so much so that I even felt confused about which one was speaking during a couple of dialogue scenes. The reader also read all five of Lucy's boarders with the same (whiney) voice, which made them indistinguishable from one another.
...more
Heather
like most of the people who've reviewed this book, i enjoyed this book because it tackled the issue of cloning so differently. imagine someone cloning for their own, very personal reasons, in their basement, but is still going about their (mostly) usual daily life, with friends and loved ones actually having to help out with this bizarre obsession. well, that's this book.

other reviewers rightly pointed out that the secondary characters are deeper and more enchanting than the primary character.
...more
Sarah Sammis
Mary Modern by Camille Deangelis is one of those books that's been making the rounds at our Tri-Valley BookCrossing group. I've been going through a Gothic phase in my reading and thought it was time to pull this book off myself. I'm glad I did.

Dr. Lucy Morgan is a geneticist living in her family home now owned by the local university. She and her lover Gray want to have a child but are unable so she resorts to starting up her father's research to clone her grandmother, Mary. What she doesn't ex
...more
Tara
This was an interesting look at cloning, but it also had themes that delved into family and loss.
I loved the way the author portrayed Mary and her acclimation to the modern world. There were twists to the plot that I found really interesting.
I really liked that it explored the humanity of the characters. Each character was flawed and a variety of relationships were explored. Lucy and Gray had to deal with their problems and the baby that was not meant to be. Mary had to come to terms with her
...more
Susan
I was torn about what sort of rating to give this book - I really wanted to give it 3 stars because the idea was so intriguing, but unfortunately the the author wasn't quite up to the task. The characters weren't fully realized and came off as one-dimensional and mostly unlikeable, the way in which time and place was communicated to the reader became distracting (and frankly seemed a bit lazy to me...), and too many bits and pieces where exactly that - picked up, talked about a bit, and then lef ...more
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I'm the author of two fantasy novels for adults (Mary Modern and Petty Magic), and my forthcoming YA-crossover title is Bones & All (on sale March 10, 2015). I'm also the author of a first-edition guidebook, Moon Ireland, as well as an as-yet-unsold children's novel that is, paradoxically, my favorite thing out of everything I have written so far. You can read about that "book of my heart," Th ...more
More about Camille DeAngelis...
Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker Bones & All Moon Ireland Faerie Magazine #26 Hanging Out in Ireland: The Complete Guide to the Hottest Cities, Scenes & Parties

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