by Deborah Osmond

When Mother and Daughter are too, too close

The Secret (Public Affairs, $25.00), Eva Hoffman’s long-awaited first novel, marks a radical departure from Hoffman’s previous works of memoir and historical non-fiction, in which she explores her life as an uprooted Polish Jewish refugee in North America. This book is a tale that blends scientific the story of a young girl’s coming of age, set in the not so distant, hyper-virtual future. Iris Surrey believes she is an ordinary girl growing up with her affluent mother in a Midwestern college town. They share an almost telepathic connection, and Iris senses that their physical likeness is also unusual. They are like sisters, “identical twins who by some fluke were aging at different speeds. “Despite their closeness. Iris does not know simple facts about her background. And when she starts to search for clues, she discovers the unthinkable. Iris is a clone, a product of genetic engineering, created at a commercial laboratory from a sampling of her mother’s DNA.

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