Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Review: The Lacuna

Well, I'm back from a really nice weekend in the Quad Cities for my 10-year class reunion. It seems impossible that it has been 10 years, but apparently it's true. It was very nice to see everyone and to hear about the changes in their lives: new jobs, new locations, new spouses, new babies. Facebook has made some of that possible already, but it's still nice to have the face-to-face.

So, being away from home for a few days, I don't have anything new to share in the craft department, but I did finish one of the best books that I've ever read on Thursday night, so here's an extremely strong recommendation and heartfelt review:

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver is terrific. I love all of her books, so it didn't come as a huge surprise that I liked this one, but I'm also very critical when I read, so it's not easy for me to develop a new favorite. I'd also read a disappointing review on NPR, which seemed to bode for the worst... Happily, I completely disagree! I think that this is actually one of her best. It's different than the others - I'll give them that - but I think she's hit a new level.

Kingsolver uses journal entries and historical records to present the story of a boy who grows up in Mexico, spends years working for Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, is an apt observer of Stalin's climb to power and Trotsky's escape from Russia, and ultimately finds himself in the United States during the 1950s and the Red Scare. As always, her writing is beautiful and honest. She has an amazing ability to describe the harsh reality of a situation and make it come to life, all the while lacing it with small pieces of sigh-worthy language. It's the sort of book that will never leave my mind. I hope you'll go check it out!

Eight more days for the BOGO print sale! 

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