The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver...a review

I have to just come out and say that I loved every aspect of this book so completely that I was very sad when it was clear that the amount of pages left was diminishing quickly. The Lacuna has moved into the # 1 position on my Top Ten, dethroning the reigning champion for the last two years, The Glass Castle.

I was already a fan of Barbara Kingsolver when I started The Lacuna. The Poisonwood Bible is not only on my Top Ten, but it is the first book that I remember being blown away by as an adult, full of characters you want to know, and help, and in some cases seriously hurt. Kingsolver has a way of creating fiction, of telling a story, that not only is completely unforgettable, but forces the reader to want to read about situations that they probably never would have envisioned themselves immersed in. Plus, Kingsolver is so adept at creating such rich surroundings and lifelike situations for her characters that it is difficult not to let yourself fall into the magic of a well-told story.

The Lacuna embodies this idea and additionally incorporates Kingsolvers’ ability to mesh history and fiction seamlessly. There were times when I had to seriously remind myself that the main character, Harrison W. Sheppard (HWS), did not actually exist.

Harrison is a character who never fully settles into his life at any given time. He is American and Mexican by birthright, but often finds that the disadvantages of dual citizenship outweigh the advantages in terms of acceptance. He never completely fits in anywhere. However, he is not a typical outsider, and in fact he finds himself making the acquaintance of some pretty famous people such as; Leon Trotsky, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo during his lifetime.

Kingsolver captures and portrays Harrison’s life as it is impacted by major world events. The Cold War, World War II, and Senator McCarthy’s and J. Edgar Hoover’s Anti-Communist Trials coincide with the 20+ years we become familiar with Harrison’s life. It is obvious that much research went into this book, and it is greatly appreciated.

It may take some pages to get fully involved in this book. However, I sincerely believe that if given the chance The Lacuna will impress you.

$10. 49 at Costco ☺

[Note to Book Club members]
My sincere apologies to Team AAA for unintentionally surpassing the amount of pages I was to read which completely obstructed the dialogue portion for this selection. It will not happen again.


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