The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver's Latest

Yes, it is another book review.  I can't resist, after the disappointment of Irving's latest, I had to write about how much I enjoyed Kingsolver's new one.  She is another author I've followed since her first book and has long been a favourite.  Unlike Irving, she manages to write about lots of different things, people and places.  Yes, her social conscience comes through in her themes but that's where the similarities from book to book end.  No young boy killing a woman with a baseball hit in one book and tweaked into a young boy killing a woman with a frying pan in another for Ms. Kingsolver.
The Lacuna is about a Mexican American writer, Harrison Shepherd,  who goes back and forth between the US and Mexico and isn't really at home in either country.  The book covers his life from the 1930's to the 1950s.  He meets and works for artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and through them meets and works for Trotsky, all in Mexico.  The book is an amalgamation of diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings and though the character never uses the word "I" once in the entire book, the reader grows to know him well.  No more on plot or story, suffice it to say Shepherd's relationships with Kahlo, Rivera and Trotsky get him in trouble with the House Committee on un-American activities after he moves back to the States to live and write his novels.  To find out more, you'll just have to read it for yourself.
Kingsolver manages to touch and provoke without ever becoming preachy. Her writing is a joy to read, as always.  This is a marvelous book, I read it slowly because I didn't want it to end.

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