Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Humanity Project; Jean Thompson

Title: The Humanity Project
Author: Jean Thompson
Publication Year:  2013
Publisher: Blue Rider Press/Penguin
Edition: audio and eGalley

Setting: Ohio and CA
Source: library/NetGalley

Date Completed: June - 2013
Rating: 3.5/5

Do you like reading stories with flawed characters? If the answer is yes, then The Humanity Project, may be a story that will appeal to you.

First there is Sean, a divorced, single dad to Connor. Sean is an out of work carpenter who is about to lose their house to foreclosure in Marin County. He does a few odd jobs, but his body is tired from years of physical labor. Connor is a good student, but worried about their sick dog. When he responds to a personal ad on Craigslist, things even get worst.

Then we meet 14 year-old, Linnea from Ohio, whose life is turned upside down when a shooter at her school changes the trajectory of her life.  Out of control, she is sent to live with her absentee father, Art, who coincidentally also lives in Marin County.  Art is ill equipped to raise a teenage daughter. 

Then there is Christie who heads a non profit organization called the "Humanity Project." Christie was a nurse to the founder of the project, Grace Foster. Grace is an eccentric, wealthy, elderly woman who wants to help troubled, down on their luck people, as well as the feral cat population.  

There are about 7 characters in this story whose lives intersect in one way or another. Most are broke, out of work, disable, traumatized or just plain directionless.  The "Humanity Project" brings the people together, but doesn't miraculously "fix them".  It's not a happy story, but it is a very realistic look at modern contemporary life. While some of the characters get back on their feet, others do not -- but that, to me was the good about this story; although some situations in our life we can control, there are other things that we simply have no control.

I thought this story was pretty good and left me thinking, but it wasn't perfect, the lives of these individuals intersected just a bit too conveniently.  I would still recommend trying it, especially if you enjoy flawed characters.


  1. This sounds like it has potential. Maybe not one I'd rush to read but it still to keep in mind. And, I do like flawed characters - seem much more real :)

  2. Sometimes it bugs me when a plot is too convenient and other times it doesn't - I guess it depends on how everything else strikes me. This book sounds like it's worth trying.

  3. Sounds like a book I would like. I just finished Casual Vacancy which is all about characters like these.

  4. I listened to the audio of this but was not bowled over.

  5. The characters and plot interest me...

  6. Ha! That's the thing about stories... the characters often intersect all too conveniently ... got back to you on your bread comment ... in reply format ...have a great day!

  7. Flawed characters are my favorite kind. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this book. The title is great!

  8. I do like me some flawed characters and the fact that the book doesn't end with them all living happily ever after is a plus as well. May have to check this one out.

  9. Fiction or non-fiction? I was thinking maybe non-fiction until you mentioned the part about them intersecting too conveniently. I like flawed characters but I'm not a big fan of too much dysfunction (if that makes sense).

  10. HA! Who doesn't like flawed characters?!?!

  11. You definitely make it sound interesting.

  12. I don't mind flawed characters. I am one :)

  13. Hmm. This sounds interesting. I'm still on the fence about it, but I may have to give it a try. I just read a similar book, where the lives of several different characters intersect. I really liked that one.

  14. I hate it when things happen to perfectly. I had that problem with a book I read a few weeks ago. Mix it up and make it real!!


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