"Fabulous feminist fiction." —Ms. Magazine
A devastating earthquake has just hit the San Francisco Bay Area, cutting off the outside world. When Lily decides to fly from Nebraska to California and make the treacherous journey into the Bay Area to find her sister, she knows she's headed for a disaster zone, but nothing prepares her for what she finds.
Those who survived and didn't evacuate are making shelters, running meals programs, rigging their own technologies, and redefining the very meaning of community. Lily bands together with a couple of feral kids, a steadfast activist, and a bonobo researcher, among others, to forge a new life. A piercing, unforgettable story of hope in the face of crisis, The Evolution of Love asks what does it take for people to come together, what dangers must they fend off in their bid for survival, and what lengths will they go to rebuild home.
"Reading Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s new novel, The Evolution of Love, I remembered what it means to fall in love with a novel... Both writers [Kingsolver and Bledsoe] concern themselves with politics, the environment, human relationships with nature, nature’s relationship with humans, feminism, and explorations that take seriously the lives of women. What results are novels that inspire and awaken readers to the joy and pain of what it means to be human." —Ms. Magazine
"A magnificent, searingly beautiful book, as insightful as it is compassionate." — Elizabeth Percer, All Stories Are Love Stories
"Probes deeply into the root of human behavior–right down to our DNA and how we've evolved as a species from our primate ancestors." —San Jose Mercury Times
"Bledsoe strikes a deft balance between the personal and the political throughout the novel–one of its many strengths is how deeply we are brought to care about Lily and her crew's fate by being forced to confront the brokenness of a world that looks–very eerily–like the one we currently inhabit." —Lambda Literary
“This is a timely story and a compelling one. In the context of a twisting plot, in the company of appealing characters, Bledsoe asks us to think about the resilience of love and hate; what our responsibility to each other is; and who we really are, right down to our DNA. Highly recommended.” — Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and The Jane Austen Book Club
“This fast-paced nail biter of a novel uses a disaster in the near future to explore a basic question: can love save us from ourselves? I read ravenously to find the answer. Lucy Jane Bledsoe is a brave and brainy writer, and The Evolution of Love is a rare mix of erudition, adventure and hard-won wisdom.” – Summer Wood, Raising Wrecker
“Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s The Evolution of Love offers a terrifyingly detailed and believable vision of life in the Bay Area after a devastating earthquake. But more than that, she offers us a vision of what is possible when individuals, even in the most desperate circumstances, refuse to give up on love and hope. The Evolution of Love is the book we all need these days: a post-disaster page-turner that’s also a blueprint for how we might live right now.” – Naomi Williams, Landfalls
“Lucy Jane Bledsoe's writing leaps off the page with striking clarity. Her characters take you by the hand and lead you through their freshly broken lives, and with them you'll discover shelters of friendship and loyalty.” – Shanthi Sekaran, Lucky Boy
"In a lucid, urgent novel driven by timely concerns and authentic feeling, Bledsoe's characters reveal how our greatest hopes most often live in community." – Edie Meidav, Kingdom of the Young and Lola, California
As a child growing up in California I created a dystopian fantasy world fueled by the visions of Margaret Atwood, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. I worked hard to develop an internal GPS which I was sure would come in useful once the Tempest was upon us and devised escape routes for every imaginable natural and man-made catastrophe. The Evolution of Love was like reading from the pages of a book l lived, long ago. I was compelled to continue from the first pages, even when the going got tough and the realism felt a bit too real. I fell in love with and was frustrated by every flawed character, every new episode where every ounce of resilience was required. It is a gifted writer who can take me through a full range of human emotions and leave me wanting more. What happens next? I hope that Lucy Jane Bledsoe will make The Evolution of Love just the beginning of a new beginning for our beleaguered species. – Del LaGrace Volcano, Artist/Activist/Educator