Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants is a bestselling novel. She has switched gears from elephants to bonobo apes to bring us this suspenseful novel. In Ape House, a family of bonobo apes who know American Sign Language are kidnapped from a language lab and then reappear on a reality TV show. This calls into question many assumptions about the DNA that is shared between humans and apes. In order to write this novel, Gruen studied linguistics and a system of lexigrams so that she could communicate directly with the bonobos living at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa. She now considers them to be part of her extended family, and, according to the bonobos, the feeling is mutual.