Barbara Kingsolver ~ Take 2 & 3

For years I’ve mostly been reading nonfiction, but just recently I’ve been getting into fiction. Especially Barbara Kingsolver. I can only say WOW! First I read “The Poisonwood Bible,” which I classified as a favorite book before I was one-third through it. I put a CD version of it on my Christmas list. I want to listen to it on our China trip. I know I’ll be ready to re-read it again soon. In fact, I could probably have started it again as soon as I finished it. It was that good!

Next, I read “The Bean Trees,” which is the story of Taylor Greer. Her main goal is to get out of her hometown without getting pregnant. On the second day of her exodus she is given a Cherokee baby. Although stunned for some time, she takes to motherhood of Turtle wonderfully. Basically, they grow on each other forming a strong and genuine love. Now I’m reading “Pigs in Heaven,” which continues the story of Taylor and Turtle. Turtle is now 6. She witnesses an accident and saves a life, which brings her national attention. I’m not far in yet, but this will challenge her adoption with Taylor, I’m sure testing relationships and love.

Kingsolver has a way of telling a story with incredible characters. She weaves her characters through history telling us about a particular historical time or issue ~ the Congo’s violent fight for independence or Native American and immigration issues in the United States. Yet, I never feel like I’m reading a history book. I’m just following the natural course of events of everyday people living ordinary lives. Clearly, Kingsolver wants to educate us about these events, but she is subtle. It is the people we care about. Their historical background is just circumstance. Just life. She is an incredible story teller. I may have to read all her novels.

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4 Responses

  1. I love the Bean trees. I remember reading that book in college and being totally moved by it. If you like Kingsolver, you might want to check out Jodi Picoult. She has a similar feeling to her writing. Also, I loved the following books
    * Fall on your Knees
    * Brick Lane
    * Bel Canto

  2. She’s what I’m reading right now, also. Prodigal Summer
    It’s my 1st Kingsolver book, and I’m loving her writing.

  3. Prodigal summer made me CRAZY! I LOVED every book I’d read by her until I got to that one, it was the point where I just said “yes I love anything this woman writes” & blindly bought prodigal summer. I couldn’t finish it, it was too dull for me. Poisonwood bible I think I could read over and over again it was sooo good! Bean Trees, pigs in heaven, etc. were also really well done! I also love Isabel Allende, but she also let me down on one of her books too! 3 amazing ones & a dud. So sad!

  4. […] You guys are literate, right? I was pleased to find that ‘To China and Back’ has  blogged about my favorite author of all time, Barbara Kingsolver. “Kingsolver has a way of telling a story with incredible characters. She weaves her character… […]

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