The story takes place in the 1960s. A mother gives birth to twins, a son and a daughter. The father, a doctor, has delivered the twins himself with a nurse in attendance. The boy is healthy but the girl is born with Down Syndrome. The father tells the mother that their daughter has died, but in reality he has given her to a nurse expecting that she will take the child to an institution. The nurse, decides to raise the girl herself and disappears to another city. The story is about the different childhood's experienced by the children. The boy is raised in a family of secrecy while the girl is raised in an open, loving environment.
On order for the library.
Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut. First published in 1985 by Delacorte Press (New York).
Lorrie Moore wrote in the New York Times in 1985: "Leon Trout, Mr. Vonnegut's doppelganger, speaks to us, moreover, from a million years hence, from the afterlife, whence he can best pronounce on what was wrong with us 20th-century folk - our brains were too big - and reveal what, through evolution and for purposes of survival, we became: creatures with smaller brains and flippers and beaks. Even if people of the future ''found a grenade or a machine gun or a knife or whatever left over from olden times, how could they ever make use of it with just their flippers and their mouths?'' Leon Trout asks. And: ''It is hard to imagine anybody's torturing anybody nowadays. How could you even capture somebody you wanted to torture with just your flippers and your mouth?'' For the full review: http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/09/28/lifetimes/vonnegut-galapagos.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Sounds as though twenty-plus years later, the premise of this novel is still relevant.
3rd floor PS3572.O5 G3 1986