By Sara Flannery Murphy
** Publication Date 1 June 2021 **
5 stars / This review will be posted at BookwormishMe.com on 16 May 2021.
Perhaps my favorite book of 2021 so far.
Josephine is a med student at the University of Chicago working on parthenogenesis. Truth be told, she chose this field of study because Josephine herself is a product of parthenogenesis. Her mother Margaret was part of an unconventional medical experiment in the 70s called the Homestead. Women lived there and were able to give birth without any male DNA. Josephine was the first, Girl One.
In total, nine baby girls were conceived at the Homestead, under the watchful eye of Dr. Bellanger. By the time Girl Nine was born, things had gone sour, and all the women fled the Homestead to other places in the US, only to lose touch. Josephine and her mother had different feelings about her origin, Josephine wanted to know everything and continue Dr. Bellanger’s research. Margaret wanted to live a simple life and pretend as though the Homestead had never happened.
Then Margaret goes missing, sending Josephine on a wild goose chase around the States looking for her mother. What she learns along the way will change her ideas about the Homestead forever.
I loved this book. Every single page. Every single word. So well written and put together, it leaves you wondering what next for Josephine and her search for her mother and her past. The initial blurb about it being similar to Orphan Black is what led me to want to read this. There are similarities, but it is still very different. It is compelling, especially to see what happens when women are given power to reproduce without needing men or sperm. Crazy, possible, fabulous. Not enough adjectives to describe what a wild, fun ride with Josephine and her comrades this is.