The Leap Year Gene

The Leap Year Gene

By: Shelley Wood (CA)

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From the author of The Quintland Sisters, a sweeping, imaginative historical epic that follows the remarkable lives of the McKinleys, a family forever altered by daughter Kit’s secret.

February 29, 1916. A baby girl is born—but as the months and years go by, Kit McKinley inexplicably ages just one year for every four.

Her mother Lillian, a fledgling botanist, fears that Kit’s condition will catch the attention of Lillian’s fellow suffragettes, who have embraced the eugenics craze sweeping North America targeting unfit, unwed mothers and “defective” children. For decades, Kit and her family must keep on the move to conceal her secret and protect her from the unwanted attention of Nazi scientists, nosy doctors, Big Pharma and the insatiable news media that is always hunting for the next sensational story.

When Kit finally reaches her teens and can pass for an adult, she must decide whether she wants to stay perpetually on the run or stay put and form lasting ties. The only problem is Will Katzen, whose life—first as a baby, then as a boy, and then as a man—keeps intersecting with hers, complicating every instinct she has to flee, or to love.

Part medical mystery, part love story, The Leap Year Gene is an unforgettable tour de force that traces the past century’s burgeoning understanding of genetics, eugenics and what constitutes “normal” while exploring the tensions, losses, love and sense of duty that can bind families together or split them apart.

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Paperback / softback | Rough front

HarperCollins Publishers

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