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Winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award for The Longest Memory, Guyana-born D'Aguiar here re-creates the final months of the commune formed by the Rev. Jim Jones in 1970s Guyana, immediately placing the reader inside its walls. As children play near the cage of a gorilla named Adam, a benevolent and intelligent presence, Adam reaches out and puts his arms around Trina. Jones arrives to free Trina but subsequently declares her dead, days later performing a miraculous and theatrical resurrection. Meanwhile, Trina and her mother, Joyce, who occasionally travels to the capital on business, have formed a strictly forbidden relationship with an outsider, the captain of the boat that services the community. As word that the commune is being investigated reaches Jones, the final act that has been hinted at looms large. Even as D'Aguiar lavishes his poetic talents on long, impressionistic passages describing the surrounding jungle's idyllic beauty and terrifying force, the present-tense narrative propels the story at a feverish pace. The reader is caught up in the commune's naïve spirituality, incomprehensible surrender of rational thought, and indifference to nature and the rest of the world. VERDICT A fascinating portrait of the horrifically flawed yet gifted Jones, whose preaching is dramatically and convincingly presented, [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/13.]—James Coan, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.