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The Lacuna

The Lacuna


The Lacuna

ratings:
4/5 (161 ratings)
Length:
19 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 3, 2009
ISBN:
9780061967139
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In The Lacuna, her first novel in nine years, Barbara Kingsolver, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, a man caught between two worlds-an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity will take readers to the heart of the twentieth century's most tumultuous events.

Publisher:
Released:
Nov 3, 2009
ISBN:
9780061967139
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.


Reviews

What people think about The Lacuna

4.1
161 ratings / 159 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Historical fiction about Mexico, Trotsky, McCarthy, and more, really well written. It read very slowly, and is a big book, but very little was expendable!
  • (3/5)
    Harrison Shepherd is a character that gives Kingsolver the opportunity to write about Kahlo, Rivera and Trotsky in the 30s, and the Red Scare in the US in the late 40s. It's a melancholy story of a man and the history he is a part of.
  • (4/5)
    This was a really enjoyable read, even if it was a bulk 670 pages. Harrison Shepherd is a perpetual outsider. By birth, of an American father and Mexican mother, he is always the outsider in whichever country he chooses to live. He is an outsider, in his times, by sexual inclination. He is forced to be an outsider by those he has met and is perceived views - whether true or not. It makes for a narrative that is never settled and comfortable, there is always that feeling of being off balance or out of kilter with something, a bit like stroking a cat the wrong way. It's not always overt, but it is always there. The book tells the story of his life, with inserts and annotations by his secretary, Violet Brown. It features his diaries and letters, and is not always coherent or consistent in its telling of events. Seeing the world through Harrison's eyes, you feel that there are times when he is missing something. He seems quite innocent and not always able to consider the possible implications or consequences of events. In the latter part of the book, he is gradually drawn more and more tightly in the coils of the witch hunt for communists that swept the US after WW2. It s as incomprehensible to Harrison as it is to me, but that doesn't stop him being swept away by something far larger and uglier than he is. The ending is ambiguous, which feels right and fits the tone of the rest of Harrison's life.
  • (5/5)
    I listened to the audio version which was narrated by the author. I’m quite sure that my experience of the book was richer than it would have been if I had read it in print. Kingsolver knows her characters and she is able to express them through her voice. But even without this, the writing is pure magic! Every character is so vivid and I cared to know each bit I heard them say or do. The story takes place beginning in Mexico in the early 1900s and the scene is wonderfully set. Kingsolver is so good at giving meaningful information in ways that can be playful, fun, and also powerful.

    The story is about an American boy raised in Mexico by a mother who is mostly interested in herself. He comes to know some famous historical people who have an impact on him. One of these is Trotsky. Others are artists. The boy is interested in writing at an early age. The story progresses into post-World War II in America including Hoover and McCarthy chasing the threats of communist conspiracies. So there is quite a bit of history included, but not at the expense of the story. Besides caring so much about the main character, I loved V.B. who is his secretary in the later years. That character is so great to listen to, but I think that the way she expresses herself will shine through from the printed page as well.

    I highly recommend this delightful and meaningful book.
  • (4/5)
    An easy read, the pages flew by. The story shifts from Mexico to Washington, D.C. and then finally Asheville, North Carolina, in different eras, a good trip through them.
  • (5/5)
    Fabulous! Always pleased with Kingsolver, this novel had me reaching for histories in the McCarthyism era.
    Amazing how a label can be embraced in one year then reviled and persecuted a few years hence.
    Highly recommended.
    The audio is read by the author, a big help with the Hispanic linguistics.