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Morning Coffee-Kingsolver has done it again!

Here’s a wonderful book review by Linda L. on Barbara Kingsolver’s new book “Karuna”
Once I picked up this latest Barbara Kinsolver novel I just couldn’t put it down. Simply put, it’s a great story. But it’s much more than that. It’s a luscious political and social interpretation of the period of the 1930s through the 1950s in both Mexico and the United States. Historical facts are combined with imagination to construct the worldview of the main character, Harrison W. Shepard, who we first meet as a 12-year old boy whose Mexican mother has left his American father and brought to Mexico. Here he learns to dive and learns about the lacuna, an underwater cave that might or not have an exit.

The boy grows up in Mexico and winds up as a cook in the home of the painter Diego Rivera and his colorfully outrageous wife, Frida Kahlo. Always, the boy keeps a journal, recording the world through is eyes, including the years that the communist leader Lev Trotsky, who had to flee Russia as his life was in danger from his rival Joseph Stalin, was welcomed and sheltered by this non-conventional couple. Swept up in the political intrigue of the time, the boy has to flee to America but he is so immersed in his Mexican world that he writes novels about Mexico’s Aztec past and enjoys success as a writer. The reader sees the world through his eyes – the war, the atomic bomb, and, especially, the witch hunts of the 1950s. His secretary, an older woman originally from the mountains of North Carolina, becomes his helpmate. She stands by him as his past makes him a target for the House Un-American committee.

Throughout the book there are excerpts from real newspaper articles as well as the fictional ones used to move the story forward. Each character is deeply developed. I felt I knew each one of them personally, including their imperfections and humanity. I learned more about Mexico in this novel than I ever learned in school. And I felt real emotion as the book spun to its inevitable conclusion.

Yes. I LOVED this book. I give my highest recommendation. Don’t miss it.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 8th, 2009 at 10:50 am and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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