Summer reading #7

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

Published 1993 ~ ISBN #0-06-109868-X ~ 436 pages

Can I just say that I LOVE Barbara Kingsolver? She is my hero, in so very many ways. First of all, she is a wife and a mom and a full-time writer, a grouping of roles that I aspire to. She also grows/raises much of her family’s food supply, which I also try to do. And she can write a happy ending that is not only lovely, but also believable. What an incredible woman.

Pigs in Heaven is the sequel to The Bean Trees, both of which are mostly about a young woman named Taylor Greer and her adopted daughter, Turtle. I have read this book before, but not recently, and it was nice to relax and reacquaint myself with characters that I like and admire. It also has some bearing on a story that I’m writing, so this seemed a good time to reread it.

As this story begins, Turtle is six years old, and she saves a man’s life. In the media hubbub that follows, a Cherokee lawyer named Annawake spots Turtle, recognizes her as Cherokee and becomes determined to return the girl to her people. Taylor, like any mother, does all she can to keep their little family together.

The last time I read this book, I was not a mother. That change in my life altered how I thought and felt about the events in this book. Before, my mind could relate, but now my heart can.

Barbara Kingsolver is an extremely gifted writer, and I urge anyone who has not read her books to do so immediately! Her characters are luminescent, and her writing brims over with words perfectly chosen to illustrate every situation.


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