The Daughter of Doctor Moreau

Books on Tape. Jul. 2022. 11:40 hrs. ISBN 9780593610022. $95. F
Perhaps not surprisingly, Moreno-Garcia’s (Velvet Was the Night) latest novel is perfection. Retelling the story of Doctor Moreau through his daughter’s eyes, this reworking of H.G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau should satisfy readers who loved the original, as well as those who’ve never encountered it. Though she sets her tale in the Yucatán, the source book can be felt running beneath. Moreno-Garcia explores colonialism, class conflict, racism, and sexism in addition to the themes of morality from Wells’s work. Gisela Chipe performs the novel, narrating each character realistically, regardless of age, gender, or country of origin. It is particularly impressive how well matched the characters’ voices are between their childhood and adult versions. Chipe’s use of accents is integral to placing the listener within the setting, a place where cultures meld and clash, and where interpersonal conflicts cannot be separated from widespread atrocities in the region. Chipe uses her narration to reveal the messy bonds of family and the confusion of becoming an adult who sees beyond their pain and privilege.
VERDICT A classic tale is viewed through a different historical lens, making it more relevant and utterly gripping. Highly recommended for fans of Moreno-Garcia or Isabel Cañas.
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