Research with an “interesting” new development,
Remote island lab closed to outsiders,
Whispers of miracles or perhaps monsters…
Adam will have to rely on his own wits and instincts during this summer of 1965, when an amazing opportunity to assist with cutting-edge regeneration research lands him right in the middle of medical espionage, undercover agents, and foreign country misunderstandings.
Written as a near-future story in 1965, The Arm of the Starfish reads almost like alternate history today, as events in Dr. O’Keefe’s island lab blur the line between science fiction and mysticism, with Adam having to decide whether to believe young Poly O’Keefe or beautiful Kali Cutter about the researcher’s true intentions.
You’ll find this classic beginning to the O’Keefe family stories at local library or independent bookstore in the new Square Fish edition. And, yes, the O’Keefes are related to the Murry family you know from A Wrinkle in Time.
How far should research take us toward a future with no limits on life?
Book info: The Arm of the Starfish / Madeleine L’Engle. Square Fish, 2011 (originally published in 1965 by Farrar Straus Giroux). [author site] [publisher site]
My book talk: Adam’s summer job as research assistant to a noted marine biologist on a Mediterranean island is a dream come true – until he’s blamed for a young girl’s disappearance from his flight, chased through Lisbon by thugs, and drawn into a secret with international implications.
Unusual for his professor-mentor to send a recent high school graduate to assist Dr. O’Keefe with starfish regeneration experiments. Unusual that beautiful Kali warns him that O’Keefe and his associate Canon Tallis are not what they seem when she meets Adam for the very first time.
Diverted to Madrid by fog, Adam worries that he’ll miss his connection in Lisbon, but Canon Tallis assures him that they’ll wait, especially as O’Keefe’s preteen daughter Poly is on this same plane. But when Poly goes into the airplane lavatory and doesn’t return, the flight crew tells Adam she was never aboard!
Dr. O’Keefe himself meets Adam at the airport, telling him that Poly has been kidnapped by someone wanting his research results. Before they can get to the boat for Gaea, Adam is chased and shot at, lied to, brought up-to-date on espionage, and sworn to secrecy.
How can they get Poly back safely?
What is so important about this starfish research?
Which side is Kali really on?
Science and mystical forces weave together in a 1965 outside of our history books on this island paradise where family and community must guard against mercenaries and greed. First of the O’Keefe family stories by A Wrinkle in Time author Madeleine L’Engle, The Arm of the Starfish is followed by Dragons in the Waters. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.