The New York Times

June 9, 2011

March 2, 1997

Review by Sally Eckhoff

The protagonist of Claudia Casper’s first novel is a sculptor named Margaret who’s having trouble with both her marriage and her teeth. Margaret thinks she’s falling apart, but she’s saved when she gets a job building a life-size museum model of Lucy, the Australopithecine ancestral woman. As Margaret assembles casts of Lucy’s bones, the vital core in her own personality begins to emerge from its nest of insecurities. Margaret cuts loose, and all things are new again. “The Reconstruction” is a probing book that avoids many of the clichés of female self-discovery: the dogged, neurotic sculptor is an unusual study, as are the nerdy male paleontologists who help her.