Monday, March 9, 2015

Pigs in Heaven

Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver

I love my local library. They sell old fiction books for 50c, so whenever I see something I might want to read, I tend to pick it up.

After having loved a more recent Kingsolver novel, The Poisonwood Bible, I thought I’d try this one.

Taylor is adoptive mother to 6 year-old Turtle, a child who was handed to her by a desperate aunt in a carpark to care for 3 years before. When Turtle becomes famous after helping to save someone’s life, she is recognised by the Cherokee Nation as being one of their own. Annawake Fourkiller, a Cherokee lawyer, with her own sad family history of Indian child removal, intervenes to ensure Turtle knows about her history and her people and in so doing, threatens the strong and loving relationships that Turtle and Taylor share. As events unfold it seems that all sides just might be most closely connected that anyone realises. This is another book where it pays dividends keep of the track the characters by name and relationship so you can see events unfold.

It’s a wise author that can raise issues well for both sides of an argument, ensuring that both are heard, understood and matter. The story of native American Indians is not one I know well, though there are strong parallels with our own Indigenous population.

Just like in the Poisonwood Bible, the beauty of Kingsolver’s writing shines in this book. It is a delight to read. A review of her website revealed that this book actually follows on with the same characters of her previous book (The Bean Trees). I read that one after and while it was fine, I  definitely preferred Pigs in Heaven, both the subject matter and the writing.


Camilla said...

Hadn't heard of this one of Kingsolver's books before. I have recently read The Lacuna which I really enjoyed and much preferred to the Poisonwood Bible which is the only other book of hers I've read. The Lacuna is beautifully written and has a wide and engrossing historical scope. It centres on a boy who during a part of the story goes to work for Frida Khalo and her husband who are visited by Trotsky. A fascinating read!

Wendy said...

Thanks Camilla. I had avoided the Lacuna up to now, someone else had said they didn't like it, but as I think about it, your tastes are probably more similar to mine than theirs! May give it a go. W x