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Unsheltered


A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.
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What surprised you most about this book?

Created: 10/29/18

Replies: 6

Posted Oct. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
NancyPH

Join Date: 02/09/17

Posts: 14

What surprised you most about this book?

The marital sex scene! It seemed implausible.


Posted Oct. 31, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Wicky

Join Date: 10/31/18

Posts: 7

RE: What surprised you most about this book?

I'm still only halfway done, so maybe there are surprises yet to come! But so far, I've been surprised by how much more I've enjoyed the 19th-century story than the contemporary one. Thatcher, Mary, and the other 19th-century characters seem more alive and engaging -- those portions of the novel just seem more fully realized to me.


Posted Nov. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: What surprised you most about this book?

In Kingsolver's earliest works, I truly enjoyed the fact that I learned so much about so many different disciplines. In fact, in an interview she gave recently to the NYT, the author, herself, claims that to be what she enjoys most about good fiction. In this book, however, and perhaps the last one she wrote, I find less of this sort of thing and more of her personal and political opinion. As a result, the book becomes preachy/didactic. In several discussions involving the mother and daughter or the mother and another character, I found myself bored because I knew what I would be reading and had heard enough already.


Posted Nov. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 317

RE: What surprised you most about this book?

I am surprised by the negative reactions, frankly. Not only here... there was an early review in the Atlantic magazine by an Oxford professor that criticized what she saw as Kingsolver's "liberal" complacency, whereas the liberal characters in this book, Willa and Zeke, are repeatedly challenged by Tig, and neither of them are complacent. Both actively struggle with changes that are happening to us all: the "American Dream" that isn't a reality, even for relatively privileged, educated white folks, let alone the rest of the world; the endangering reality of climate change. I thought the conversations between Tig and Willa, especially, were powerful in showing how hard it is to accept these new realities, and how, where, we can find hope as a nation. Not didactic at all. Very relevant. Kingsolver wasn't trying to preach but to convey urgency, and show compassion for the emotional stress and hardship that's involved -- her characters are likable, decent people, but with blind spots. Like most of us, I daresay.

I was surprised most by how many parallels there were between the 19th century and the present -- especially when I learned that Landis really did get away with murder, that is history, not her invention. As with the issue of racism not ending with the Civil War, this book showed me the ways in which the resistance to Darwin and evolutionary science have survived and transformed into the resistance to the science of global warming today.


Posted Nov. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sharonj

Join Date: 01/26/17

Posts: 23

RE: What surprised you most about this book?

I thought Kingsolver was very creative weaving two storylines, one with interesting historical figures and another more contemporary family while making definite parallels to our current political situation. I was surprised how some have responded.


Posted Nov. 23, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiad

Join Date: 11/25/12

Posts: 34

RE: What surprised you most about this book?

Sharonj expressed my impression (very well!). Allowing the reader to see that all families have some problems regardless of their social, financial status.


Posted Nov. 26, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 256

RE: What surprised you most about this book?

I agree with susiej--she expressed my sentiments so well... .


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