The Humanity Project

The Humanity Project

Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101611050
  • 352 Pages
  • Blue Rider Press
  • Adult


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home, a dazzling new novel hailed as an “instantly addictive…tale of yearning, paradox, and hope.” (Booklist
After surviving a horrific shooting at her high school, fifteen-year-old Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, in California. Art, not much more than a child himself, doesn’t quite understand how or why he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen—and probably deeply damaged—adolescent girl. And although Linnea has little interest in her father, she becomes fascinated by the eccentric cast of characters surrounding him: Conner, a local handyman whose own home life is a war zone, and Christie, her neighbor, who has just been given the reins to a bizarrely named charity fund, the Humanity Project. As the Fund gains traction and Linnea begins to heal, the Humanity Project begs the question: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price?

Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in The Humanity Project, crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society.


"Her stories linger and seep into your dreams."
-Bernard Cooper, author of The Bill from My Father
“An extraordinarily warm-hearted novel.”
-Jonathan Dee, The New York Times Book Review, for The Year We Left Home
“Wise and absorbing, this is one not to miss.”
-People, for The Year We Left Home
“Wry and tender … such is Thompson’s artistry that moments of everyday sorrow and nobility made me weep.”
-John Repp, Cleveland Plain Dealer, for The Year We Left Home
“Told with extraordinary grace … the clan at the center of Jean Thompson’s spare, startlingly resonant new novel remain inextricably linked to the place that made them, even as they reach for lives richer in both geography and purpose.”
-Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly, for The Year We Left Home
“Powerful and darkly humorous … Thompson’s characters are sharply drawn and deeply familiar. Her dialogue is pitch-perfect.”-Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune, for The Year We Left Home
“Fantastic … enormously satisfying … Thompson has a light, exquisite touch … rich, detailed, resonant, emotionally spot-on.”
-Bill Eichenberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for The Year We Left Home
“Dazzling … unforgettable … The novel is a powerful reflection on middle American life – on the changes wrought by the passing years and values that endure … Masterful.”
-Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review for The Year We Left Home
“Plumbs the American heart with rigor and intensity, seamlessly connecting one family’s fortunes to those of the larger national community.”
-Liza Nelson, O: The Oprah Magazine, for The Year We Left Home
“Enlightening and quietly brilliant … Thompson is a master.”
-Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald, for The Year We Left Home
“Startlingly good … you may forget that some of the characters don’t really exist, that the Iowa farm family so expertly drawn by the author never drew breath themselves.”
-Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune, for The Year We Left Home
"If there are ‘Jean Thompson characters,’ they’re us, and never have we been so articulate and worthy of compassion. These stories confirm that no one is beneath her interest, or beyond her sure and seemingly limitless reach."
-David Sedaris