Friday, January 4, 2019


Foundations. Many of us crave stability and desire some solid foundation to anchor our lives. In her novel titled, Unsheltered, Barbara Kingsolver explores instability and uncertainty during two time periods: today and 100 years ago. She explores the lives of two families united by a house and their common inability to maintain that house as they face societal change and economic hardship. Kingsolver presents a cast of characters who reflect both time periods and highlights the dramatic divisions and differences between individuals in both eras. In the contemporary plotline, a professional working couple have done everything they thought was right, followed the rules, and find themselves in late middle age with little to show for their efforts, and great uncertainty about finding the means to provide for themselves and their dependents. The plotline from the past includes threads to Darwin and to a scientist neighbor whose naturalist observations encourage a teacher whose boss won’t allow him to teach about evolution. Instability is uncomfortable, and the fearful and unstable characters in this novel may disturb some readers. Thoughtful readers will want to talk about this novel with others and share the discomfort. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase Unsheltered from

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