Starting Over

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Barbara Kingsolver - The Lacuna

Dominic bought this book and I read it arond Xmas and our travels then. I'd previously been goven and read her non-fiction work Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, an interesting if somewhat self-aborbed example of the 'year of' genre... in principle I think its great to promote seasonal and local food but it is very much a position that is denied to many who don't have access to their own land or to other sources of local food.

But, to The Lacuna, a much more satisfactory book, using the central character, Harrison Shepherd, to describe events in the US and Mexico, including the household of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the assassination of Trotsky, and the operation of the Commitee on Un-American Committee. Both a pleasurable and absorbing read Kingsolver provides rich detail of life in Mexico,Trotsky's exile from the USSR, US anti-Communism etc without falling into a lecturing tone. Instead this rich detail is revealed through the strong characters and narrative, Shepherd, being a deeply believeable character moving along with the path of history.



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