Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver 480 pages

The latest novel by Barbara Kingsolver is two connected stories separated by 150 years.  Both stories take place in Vineland, New Jersey, both involve a house that is literally falling apart, and both involve a family and an era in turmoil.  The modern day story centers around Willa Knox and her family who have inherited a home that is sinking into the ground.  Willa’s problems also include a right wing father-in-law who is quite ill, a daughter she can’t connect with,  a son who is the sole parent of a very young child, and her husband who is a college professor who is never able to get tenure.  The tale that takes place in the 1870’s centers around Thatcher Greenwood, a science teacher who locks horns with his principal, a naysayer of Darwinism.  Greenwood is also living in a home that is practically unlivable and is in a marriage that the reader knows is doomed.

I was extremely disappointed with Unsheltered.  The characters were one dimensional and many portions were tedious.  Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Tree are proof that Barbara Kingsolver can do much better.

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver 480 pages

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