Ballantine, May 2004, 12.95, 272 pp.
Elizabeth Surrey told her daughter Iris that she once was a big shot Manhattan investment consultant, but burned out over the lies required to climb the ladder and over a city that was turning uglier by the nanosecond. Thus she quit and fled to this small college town near Chicago looking to start over. What she didn't tell Elizabeth was much about her daddy and that the child is a clone of the mother.
The twosome are best buddies, but relationships change in 2017 when Steven enters their lives. Elizabeth and Steven fall in love, but he cannot deal with what he feels is the abnormal relationship between his beloved and her twelve year old daughter. A confused Iris begins to learn more about her birthing and decides to leave home to investigate whether she has a soul of her own or just an extension of Elizabeth as she now knows she is her mother's clone.
THE SECRET will not be kept a secret for long as readers will receive a philosophical science fiction tale that keeps the audience pondering questions of ethics and morality in modern science. The novel is no sound byte pandering by the political leaders, but instead is a deep first person account of a young individual wondering whether she has a soul. Fans will debate these issues and more while thinking of Phillip K. Dick (though Eva Hoffman's book contains no violence) especially DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP as one wonders whether Iris is Memorex or real.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner