Unsheltered: A Novel

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Unsheltered brings back the elegance and subtle-but-beautiful storytelling of Barbara Kingsolver–not that she ever left. But waiting for the next book from this incredible author can feel like a long absence.

Unsheltered tells two stories of one house. One story follows the lives of its original inhabitants, a newly arrived school teacher and his wife’s family. The second describes the life of the house’s contemporary denizens, parents and their adult children, each struggling to come to terms with different forms of grief. The house at the center of it all stands as the obvious metaphor–it was built without adequate foundation or load-bearing support–but of course, as with all of Kingsolver’s novels, what so effectively envelops the reader is the unique warmth and kindred feeling for each character you find yourself wrapped up with. What Kingsolver does so beautifully is build these characters with such deft, subtlety, and love that you find yourself believing in them and their lives–so much so that their experiences feel like your own long after the book is finished. Her characters and elegant stories can come to feel like your own memories rather than simple stories.

This review admittedly hasn’t offered much in the way of summary, and that’s by design. You can easily look up the book’s plot, but what’s harder to anticipate is the genuine depth of feeling it engenders. Whatever you think of the plot summary, read the book anyway. Kingsolver will make you love and covet that story and its characters in spite of whatever you may think going in.

Reviewed By:

Author Barbara Kingsolver
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 480 pages
Publisher Harper
Publish Date 2018-10-16
ISBN 9780062684561
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue April 2019
Category Modern Literature


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