smaasch, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by smaasch)
wonderful writing as one has come to expect from barbara kingsolver. learned a lot about mexican history. the character development was fabulous.
Lena Wright, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by Lena Wright)
This past year, I chose Barbara Kingsolver as the subject of my junior thesis. Having already read two of her older novels, Prodigal Summer and The Poisonwood Bible (both of which I would recommend to any fan of epic fiction), I was eager to read her newest work. The Lacuna surprised me in many ways. The main character is male, something which she doesn't usually do. And although it spans a great length of time, like The Poisonwood Bible, it doesn't focus so much on stark black and whites. Reading other reviews of it, many people think this is her worst work. But contrary to what many reviewers wrote, I found it to be one of her more complex works about human nature and an intriguing look into Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo's relationship. Definitely worth reading!
Rocky Mountain Birder, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Rocky Mountain Birder)
Prior to reading "The Lacuna" I have read all of Barbara Kingsolver's books. Her non-fiction was enjoyed in my last visit to her work and it was in "The Lacuna" that I felt transported back to those first books that introduced me to her works of fiction which were set in the Southwest. It was a comfortable, easy read as I became acquainted with her characters in this story: Harrison Shepherd, Lev Trotsky and Mrs. Brown. This period work takes place in the years around the second World War and provides some insight into just how public opinion works to create the public image of a person and an incident. The Lacuna is the unspeakable breach between truth and public presumption, words from the book's cover, gives a prospective reader the "bait" to grab their interest and pull them into the reading of this important work of fiction that clearly looks at issues of today, this time and place in history. It is a book that I will read again.
Carol CC, January 31, 2011 (view all comments by Carol CC)
I hoarded this as if it was a box of fancy and expensive chocolates. I easily could have gobbled the whole thing at once, but the language and story were so beautiful, I wanted to savor every bite. Kingsolver has long been a favorite writer and she just keeps getting better.
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Waiting for a new Kingsolver novel has been like waiting for a favorite restaurant to reopen after renovations, only it's been nine years of anticipation. With the grand depth of The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna tells of historical and intercultural intrigue, amidst relationships that unfold slowly, drawing out their flavors. Kingsolver's research rewards us with accurate representations of exciting historical figures. Her themes of social change have a timeless relevance. It's a pleasure to be immersed once again in the kaleidoscope of Barbara Kingsolver's imagination and skill.
"Review A Day"
by Celia McGee, Bookforum,
"Kingsolver, at the top of her craft, builds pyramids of language and scenic highways through mountains of facts, while plotting a mostly tight course through the fictional premises that convey her writing's social conscience. In this book, pacifism, social justice, and free expression are the standards she shoulders." (read the entire Bookforum review)
by Chicago Tribune,
"Rich...impassioned...engrossing...Politics and art dominate the novel, and their overt, unapologetic connection is refreshing."
by The New Yorker,
"Compelling...Kingsolver's descriptions of life in Mexico City burst with sensory detail — thick sweet breads, vividly painted walls, the lovely white feet of an unattainable love."
by New York Times Book Review,
"Breathtaking...dazzling...The Lacuna can be enjoyed sheerly for the music of its passages on nature, archaeology, food and friendship; or for its portraits of real and invented people...But the fuller value...lies in its call to conscience and connection."
In her first novel in nine years, New York Times-bestselling author Kingsolver tells the story of Harrison William Shepherd, an unforgettable protagonist whose search for identity takes readers to the heart of the 20th century's most tumultuous events.
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