Raises so many excellent questions through its intelligent prose

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Evelyn Caldwell is an award-winning research scientist. She has revolutionized modern adult cloning. On the cusp of taking her research commercial, Evelyn gets a desperate call from Martine, her ex-husband Daniel’s new wife. But Martine didn’t just take Evelyn’s place, she’s a clone of Evelyn. Now Daniel is dead, and Evelyn will stop at nothing to protect the legacy she has built.

The Echo Wife is told in the first person from protagonist Evelyn’s point of view. Evelyn is an accomplished scientist who is desperate to maintain her success and reputation, as well as her well-cultivated mannerisms. She is uncomfortable with human emotion, never apologizes, and maintains a generally aloof nature. In direct contrast is Martine, her clone. Martine has been programmed by Evelyn’s ex-husband to be everything Evelyn is not. She is warm, self-sacrificing, maternal. Still, the two have similarities they cannot ignore, which begs the question: What characteristics exactly do we inherit from our DNA alone?

The Echo Wife raises so many excellent questions through its intelligent prose. What does it mean to be human? Should clones have rights? Is killing a clone the same as murder? Can personality traits be transferred at a molecular level? As far as the plot, I found it a bit slow. While the concepts are provocative and certainly has moments, not much happens over the 250 pages. The plot exists mainly in the ethical undertones and the questions it raises.

Thank you to Tor Books for the review copy! All opinions are my own.