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Unsheltered: A Novel de Barbara Kingsolver
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Unsheltered: A Novel (edició 2018)

de Barbara Kingsolver (Autor)

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1,590958,719 (3.63)109
How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks, and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals, and have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. The magazine where Willa worked has folded; the college where her husband had tenure has closed. Their dubious shelter is also the only option for a disabled father-in-law and an exasperating, free-spirited daughter. When the family's one success story, an Ivy-educated son, is uprooted by tragedy, he seems likely to join them, with dark complications of his own. In another time, a troubled husband and public servant asks, How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting work just published by Charles Darwin. His young bride and social-climbing mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his worries that their elegant house is unsound. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town's powerful men. This is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it.… (més)
Membre:2blackcats
Títol:Unsheltered: A Novel
Autors:Barbara Kingsolver (Autor)
Informació:Harper (2018), Edition: First Edition, 480 pages
Col·leccions:Dewey
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Unsheltered de Barbara Kingsolver

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» Mira també 109 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 94 (següent | mostra-les totes)
[Unsheltered], set in Vineland, NJ hops from the 'present' to the 1870's focussing for the space of about a year on two families living on the same plot of land on Plum St. Through a mix of bad judgement and naiveté both families are near penniless and the house, their shelter, is literally falling to pieces. The two stories connect over Mary Treat, a woman who lived next door to Thatcher Greenwood and his wife and in-laws in the 1870's portion of the story. Treat, an RL person was a well-respected lady botanist who corresponded with and was respected by Darwin, Asa Gray. A devoted 'scientist' in a culture that is in a froth of denial about evolution, Thatcher has been hired to teach biology at the high school only, not really. Naturally he and Mary meet and fall in love. His own wife, Rose, is beautiful, ten years his junior and very much mired in the cultural values of the time. Willa, the mother of the complex contemporary household is trying to figure out how to keep food on the table and her family, somehow, intact. She had a 'before' when she worked for a magazine as a writer and her husband had tenure (and retirement fund) at a college that went bankrupt, but that life is gone and she tries to care for her widowed son's newborn and for her dying father-in-law. Her one hope is to have the house declared of historical value so they can get a big grant to stop the ceilings from falling in. She becomes obsessed with treat and then with the mysterious Thatcher.

I started the novel months ago and dragged it along with me into the new year. As one reviewer here (yeah I peeked) said, 'Too much going on!' and I think I agree even though I see what Kingsolver was aiming for. The parallels. The differences. In the 19th century new species were being found. In our here and now, those same species are being lost by the dozens (thousands?) every year. But people fear change desperately and cling to cultural fictions (for that is what we live by, stories we make up to give our lives shape and keep the terror of chaos at bay). For me the best part of the story was Tig, the daughter and her relationship with her mother, Willa. She made the whole novel worthwhile for me and bravo Kingsolver for her effort to get into the soul of the millenials, who face issues we older folk cannot really grasp (or accept our role in creating or tolerating). The novel is too complicated, but also pretty good. I'd love to read Willa's biography of Mary Treat! ***1/2 ( )
  sibylline | Jan 11, 2022 |
I liked the historical part about Thatcher Greenwood and Mary Treat. The modern day chapters were from the point of view of a whiny, self centered middle aged woman, who failed to interest me. ( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
Contrary to the title of the book, this is the story of one particular shelter - a house called Vineland that sheltered two different families over 140 years apart. A house that stood the test of time until it couldn't.
Modern day: Willa and Iano's marriage is unsheltered from harsh realities. Behind Willa's every thought of Iano is a trace of disappointment. He doesn't respect her privacy. He is hardly the breadwinning husband even though she is the out-of-work journalist. As a professor with adoring students and a history of infidelity, Willa cannot trust him. Adding to the stress Iano's very ill father has come to live with them in their condemned (no longer sheltering) house. Then there is Willa's son. Zeke has his own share of trouble. His live-in girlfriend has committed suicide, leaving him with a newborn son and a pile of debt. Helene was the one with the income while Zeke was a student at the Harvard Business School. Guess who is left to care for the newborn? This is the opening shot across the bow for Unsheltered. Kingsolver delves into so much (so much!) more as the story unfolds. Historical plot follows the life of real-life naturalist Mary Treat and her quest to study the world around her. Charles Darwin has page time and even the nomination of a tyrant for a President of the United Sates gets a mention. I don't want to say anymore except that Kingsolver is a master of words. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Nov 28, 2021 |
Decent. She has a lot of good point as usual. Somewhat preachy and I found the part of the story that was set in the past boring. ( )
  debfung | Jul 12, 2021 |
I gave up on this about three hours into the audiobook. I’ve liked her so much in the past and tried to give it a chance but the family argument/lecture scene gave me my first inkling that I wouldn’t finish it. I grew up in NJ and the historical part was a hook I had to let go. I’d assumed that the preachy parts of Animal Vegetable Miracle had been contributed by her husband. I’m sad about this. ( )
  flemertown | Jul 10, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 94 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Multi-award-winning Kingsolver's eighth novel (after Flight Behavior) tells two stories in alternating chapters, both taking place on the same residential lot in Vineland, NJ, but roughly 150 years apart. In the 1870s, science teacher Thatcher struggles with meeting the expectations of his socially ambitious wife while running afoul of school and city morality for teaching Darwinism and develops a connection with his next-door neighbor, naturalist Mary Treat. In the present day, journalist Willa tries to hold her family together, four generations of which are living in a house that is literally falling down around them, as they struggle with medical bills, tragedy, and long-buried conflict. In the historical story (Thatcher and his family are fictional, but other characters and plot elements are based on real people and events), Kingsolver finds parallels to our current political climate without being heavy-handed, conveying the frustration and despair of members of the professional middle class, who "did all the right things" but feel they are losing ground.
afegit per kthomp25 | editaLibrary Journal
 
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The simplest thing would be to tear it down,” the man said. ”The house is a shambles.”
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How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks, and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals, and have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. The magazine where Willa worked has folded; the college where her husband had tenure has closed. Their dubious shelter is also the only option for a disabled father-in-law and an exasperating, free-spirited daughter. When the family's one success story, an Ivy-educated son, is uprooted by tragedy, he seems likely to join them, with dark complications of his own. In another time, a troubled husband and public servant asks, How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting work just published by Charles Darwin. His young bride and social-climbing mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his worries that their elegant house is unsound. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town's powerful men. This is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it.

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