Book Review Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
I go back and forth with Barbara Kingsolver. One of my all time favorite books is her Poisonwood Bible. And yet some of her other books have left me flat.
Unsheltered falls squarely in the middle. I enjoyed it, but it won’t make my top of all time list. But it is definitely worth a read. It is a bit unfortunate when you fall hard for a particular book (like Poisonwood Bible) – and then expect the author to produce that feeling again and again. Kingsolver is a talented writer, and Unsheltered definitely shows her breadth.
The story follows two family – one hundred years apart – living in the same house. Both families are dealing with considerable economic and family issues. How these families address these issues however, is different in their respective centuries.
And yet much is the same. Both storylines deal with aging parents and raising and educating children. Both storylines have an underlying theme of media, economics, racism and nature. Both storylines have an antagonist in power or coming to power, and how the different generations look at the current political climate.
The parallel stories converge through historical notes, letters and research as the modern family desperately seeks answers to solve their financial woes. What they discover however is that none of us, in generations past or present, are fully ever prepared for crumbling foundations both physically and metaphorically when our lives go hurling in directions we never thought possible, in a changing world we never saw coming.
I particularly liked Kingsolver’s clever way of tying together each chapter as it went from past to present day. I think you’ll like it too.
Four stars for Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
Read last week’s review of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry