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Barbara Kingsolver: Unsheltered: 9 reasons (not) to despair

Barbara Kingsolver is a great writer.  “Unsheltered” pulses with beautiful prose about two families living in a crumbling house in Vineland, New Jersey, 150 years apart.

When Thatcher Greenwood, the hero of the 1870s cycle, scolds his wife Rose, we hear that: Her eyes flared like a struck match before she looked away.

As the FT says, the book is – in many ways – magnificent.

Willa Knox, the hero of the contemporary cycle, admires her grandson: She lay with her chin on her forearms admiring the baby’s wren-feather eyelashes and delicate nostrils, the bottom lip tucked into the infant overbite.  The melon of belly expanding, contracting.

Each chapter ends with the title of the following chapter.  We learn that Willa, faced with a grisly task, mommed up and did the deed.  This is elegant, powerful stuff.

But the book drove me half crazy.  Here are 9 reasons why. (more…)

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