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October 9, 1987

Second Seed

Author Affiliations



JAMA. 1987;258(14):1972. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400140134048

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Second Seed, a novel by Mary Lake Polan, MD, is an uneven mixture of suspense, international intrigue, and science, ie, in vitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood. For seasoning, a bit of steamy sex has been tossed into the pot (at the behest of the publisher?).

The protagonist, Beth, is a young surgeon gifted with talent and beauty. In a most unlikely scenario, her life in Connecticut crosses paths with that of another beautiful young woman, Aliza, who, on the recent death of her father, has become the ruler of an oil-rich Middle Eastern country. Because she is female, according to the laws of her country Aliza cannot keep the throne unless she bears a male child within three years.

A villainous cousin, next in line for the throne, plots Aliza's murder. Unfortunately for him, the princess does not die from the attack but lies in a coma. Her husband, American