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The Philosopher's Apprentice by James Morrow
The philosopher in The Philosopher's Apprentice is Mason Ambrose, who walks away from academia just before receiving his doctoral degree because of an ethics issue. He's instead hired by the famous and wealthy geneticist Dr. Edwina Sabacthani, who works and lives off an island off the coast of Florida. Edwina has a teenage daughter, Londa, who has apparently suffered an accident leaving her without a memory or sense of right and wrong. Mason tutors Londa in philosophy and ethics so she can eventually function in the real world. The island, though, is full of genetically engineered flora and fauna, and at least one other tutor and child without memory. With Mason's teachings locked firmly into her psyche, Londa engages the rest of the world, but not in the methods Mason might have wished. This novel from James Morrow (The Last Witchfinder) has received mixed reviews with the Cleveland Plain Dealer saying, "I'm not sure there's a clear philosophical point to the novel, but that may well be because of our narrator Ambrose, who has his own failings. But whatever the case, The Philosopher's Apprentice engages, amuses, surprises and moves the reader."