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The Evolution of Jane

by Cathleen Schine
New York: Plume, 1999. 224 pages.

From the publisher: "[T]he Galápagos Islands are home to diverse species of exotic wildlife — and tourists of every stripe and feather. It is here that Jane Barlow Schwartz embarks on a quest as urgent as Charles Darwin's one hundred and fifty years before: to find out why her childhood friendship with her cousin and soul-mate Martha ended; and what unknown event, family feud, or unintended slight caused the happiest part of her life to become extinct. Along the way ... Jane ponders the origin of her own colorful and peculiar heritage, a secret history of natural selection, and the flawed and fascinating evolutionary process that makes us all who we are."