Kingsolver, Barbara "Unsheltered" - 2018
This was my sixth book by Barbara Kingsolver. My favourite is probably "The Lacuna", closely followed by "The Poisonwood Bible".
As in her other books, the author addresses well-known problems. In this case, why do people work hard all their lives, do everything right, and still end up in dire straits?
We get to know two couples who live in the same house, about two centuries apart. And yet, they end up with similar problems, the house is old and decrepit but there is no money for the restoration, the characters are in danger of losing their jobs or have lost them already, the society is not ready for changes that need to be made.
We wonder how people could not understand Charles Darwin but overlook the fact that we get ignorant people like that even today. People who don't "acknowledge" science. How can you not?
Anyway, I like the way Barbara Kingsolver tackles the trials of our generation. I like the way she makes us compare the two generations. I like her writing style. And I like the book. It's a good one.
I will definitely have to read her other three novels.
From the back cover:
"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.
Unsheltered is the compulsively readable 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. With history as their tantalizing canvas, these characters paint a startlingly relevant portrait of life in precarious times when the foundations of the past have failed to prepare us for the future."