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Blue Rider Press
<div> <b>From the <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>The Year We Left Home</i>, a dazzling new novel already being hailed as an instantly addictive...tale of yearning, paradox, and hope.” (<i>Booklist</i>)</b><br> <br> After surviving a shooting at her high school, Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, who doesn’t quite understand how he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen adolescent girl. Art’s neighbor, Christie, is a nurse distracted by an eccentric patient, Mrs. Foster, who has given Christie the reins to her Humanity Project, a bizarre and well-endowed charity fund. Just as mysteriously, no one seems to know where Conner, the Fosters’ handyman, goes after work, but he has become the one person Linnea can confide in, perhaps because his own home life is a war zone: his father has suffered an injury and become addicted to painkillers. As these characters and many more hurtle toward their fates, the Humanity Project is born: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price?<br> Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in <i>The Humanity Project</i>, crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society.</div>
Blue Rider Press
<strong>An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013</strong>: <span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">When a school shooting sends a damaged teen named Linnea to live with her lazy, pot-smoking father in California, she becomes immersed in a world in which everyone nurses a deep sense of economic doom and financial hopelessness. “Times were bad for everybody, everybody had it coming” writes Thompson, and this: “The world was one big goddam banana peel, waiting for you to slip on it.” One character feels like “they’d changed the rules when he wasn’t looking and drained all the good luck out of the world.” These sympathetic and recognizable people--“the overeducated and the underemployed”--lose their homes to Bank of America; suffer due to a lack of health insurance; shamble through dull, low-paying jobs; tame their sorrows with weed, Percocet, and booze as they bemoan their “shitcan” lives, their “getting-by” lives, their “waiting for the next kick in the head” lives. At times, <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Humanity Project</em> reads like the love child of Dickens and Barbara Ehrenreich. And yet, remarkably, Thompson makes us care, gives us hope, showing us that the whimsy of a few good-hearted people can inspire others to strive to become their better selves. A father can help his daughter; a son can help his father. And, while bad things can and do happen to decent (if flawed) people, the decent can fight back. --<em>Neal Thompson</em></span>