cover image Girl One

Girl One

Sara Flannery Murphy. MCD, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-37460174-4

Set in an alternate past, this uneven speculative thriller from Murphy (The Possessions) centers on female asexual reproduction and the scientist who made it possible, Joseph Bellinger. In 1994, Josie Morrow, the first child of nine born of this process, believes Bellinger is dead. Then she learns that the house of her mother, Margaret, has burned down and Margaret’s gone missing. Journalist Tom Abbott, who was in contact with Margaret, wants to help Josie find her. Josie and Tom have enough information to locate the other mothers and children of Bellinger’s experimentation, and together they seek out the others who, along with Josie, discover they have supernatural powers. In an unexpected showdown, much of Josie’s twisted past is revealed, and Josie must face her most difficult fears—disappointing a father figure who has shaped her life. Turgid language slows this conceptually rich novel. Hopefully, Murphy will return to form next time. [em]Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (June) [/em]