Saturday, August 14, 2010

Out Of The Shadows-Joanne Rendell

Out Of The Shadows
Joanne Rendell
NAL, Sep 7 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451231123

Clara Fitzgerald has temporarily put a halt to her career to support her longtime fiancĂ© geneticist Anthony as he conducts research traveling around the country. Engrossed in his work, Anthony ignores Clara except for persuading her to conduct DNA testing to see if she is related to Mary Shelley the renowned author. Clara also conducts her own research into whether her family tree includes Frankenstein’s writer.

Clara asks her sister Maxie to join her quest and after meeting Daniel who introduces her to retired Shelley scholar Dr. Kay McNally, she asks the older professor also to assist her in finding the lost journals of the author of Frankenstein. Her work leads her to realize the danger Anthony is placing himself in, but he refuses to heed her warning. Instead, she moves on hopefully with a new love.

This is a terrific character driven tale that contains two subplots with the prime one being the contemporary romantic thriller supported by flashbacks throughout of a biographical fiction of Mary Shelley’s life. Clara is a strong academia who learns never to judge a book by its cover while seemingly extroverted Max hopes to one day come Out of the Shadows cast by her successful sister; with Kay as a sort of mentor, the three women bond. Obsessed with fame, Anthony ignores ethics for success while Daniel adheres to his moral values at the cost of success. With Mary Shelley rounding out the novel, fans will enjoy Joanne Randall’s thought provoking fiction wondering what barriers are there, if any, to genetic research.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: