On the surface, it appears that Conrad and Eleanor Evanson's long marriage has been a most successful juggling act. Together they have raised four children while pursuing their respective careers - Con's in transplant research and El's in gene manipulation. However, when Con doesn't return home from a conference, then the jury is out as to the enduring nature of their marriage.
Spanning from the 1970s to the present day, this perceptive story cleverly combines the dissection of a marriage with a backdrop of medical research complete with its own compromises and ethical challenges.
A first for our group. No one enjoyed it. Many thought the storyline of the laboratory was unrealistic, the plot was contrived, and the characters annoying and not very believable. Several did not like the flip of male and female roles.
A popular book which created great discussion.
Mixed review of this book... some enjoyed the light-heartedness of the story-telling while others couldn't find much of a positive nature to report. Interesting disussions centred around the occupations of Conrad and Eleanor (especially the monkeys!). We all agreed that the outcome of the story was probably not what was expected but it was a pleasing end.
Discussion about this book led to very interesting observations on how marriages had changed in our lifetimes. We did not particularly enjoy reading this book.
A lot of discussion. Indicative of a lot of marriages. It was relevant to today's animal rights crusade. A good description of depression, and all in all a good read.
The group enjoyed the intricacies of the plot and the difficulties experienced by the characters - but did not think the story reached its full potential - nor would it receive a high vote for storyline or tension.
Most of us really enjoyed this - though a couple were upset by the monkeys' lives. We thought that Eleanor's sister's sex life was hilarious - it showed what good writing this was!
Well-written in a style easy to read but the plot seemed to peter out half way through. We felt that the author missed an opportunity to show how reflection on past actions could lead to change, and give hope to those in troubled relationships. Realistic but not terribly likeable characters who did not change and grow as we had hoped.
An intelligent and well written book;about a marriage relationship and family life in today's society between two high fliers. Raises issues of work/life balance and long term commitment, and reads like a thriller!
A slow burner. We took a while to warm to the characters. While it is very realistic, the clever plot and philosophy of "life going on" was greatly satisfying.