Barbara Kingsolver is one of those rare writers with whom you know what you are getting before you open the first page.
You know, for example, that the prose is going to be literary, dense, and luscious (take this descriptive line: SummerвЂ™s heat had never really arrived, nor the cold in turn, and everything living now seemed to yearn for sun with the anguish of the unloved.вЂќ) You know that the content will focus on some kind of social justice, biodiversity, or environmental issue. You know, too, that at some point, Ms. Kingsolver will cross the line into authorial intrusion based on her passion for the subject she is writing on.
But you keep coming back for more. At least, I do. There is something mesmerizing about a Barbara Kingsolver novel, and something refreshing about a writer who combines a solid scientific background with stunning prose.
In Barbara Kingsolver’s THE LACUNA, Harrison ShepherdвЂ™s odyssey through three tumultuous decades of the 20th century begins in a lonely boyhood between two worlds вЂ“ America and Mexico. It continues through the Depression and World War II, and culminates in the ugly, surreal hysteria of the Red Scare.
Along the way Shepherd mixes plaster for the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, becomes a confidant of his colorful wife, the artist Frida Kahlo, serves as secretary to the exiled Bolshevik, Leon Trotsky, and becomes a celebrity in his own right. Readers will bond with his kind soul, his boundless curiosity, his youthful exuberance and his self-deprecating wit as he experiences the best and worst his times have to offer.