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Ape House by Sara Gruen
In Ape House, Dr. Isabel Duncan studies and cares for six bonobos, members of the ape family who have mastered sign language and can understand English. The bonobos are like family to her. She shows them to John Thigpen, a reporter from Massachusetts. Soon after, an explosion rocks her laboratory and the bonobos' whereabouts are unknown to her. Animal rights activists force the university to get rid of the bonobos, and they are sold to a porn producer who puts them on a television reality show. Isabel and John decide that they must rescue them, and it's a task that have them interacting with an odd assortment of characters. Sara Gruen's novel (author of Water for Elephants) has received mixed reviews with BookPage saying, "Gruen undertook extensive linguistics studies in preparation for this novel, and was then invited to be one of the few visitors to the real-life Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa, where six bonobos and six orangutans are housed. She describes that experience as 'magical' - a word that could be used to describe her new novel as well."