From the internationally bestselling author of ‘The Poisonwood Bible’, ‘The Lacuna’ and ‘Flight Behaviour’ comes a publishing event and novel for our troubled times.
Time describes Barbara Kingsolver as “a gifted musician of words” – one of the most important voices of our time. Her latest offering – described as brilliantly executed and compulsively readable –Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts.
Willa Knox has always prided herself on being the embodiment of responsibility for her family. Which is why it’s so unnerving that she’s arrived at middle age with nothing to show for her hard work and dedication but a stack of unpaid bills and an inherited brick home in Vineland, New Jersey, that is literally falling apart.
The magazine where she worked has folded, and the college where her husband had tenure has closed. The dilapidated house is also home to her ailing and cantankerous Greek father-in-law and her two grown children: her stubborn, free-spirited daughter, Tig, and her dutiful debt-ridden, ivy educated son, Zeke, who has arrived with his unplanned baby in the wake of a life-shattering development.
In an act of desperation, Willa begins to investigate the history of her home, hoping that the local historical preservation society might take an interest and provide funding for its direly needed repairs. Through her research into Vineland’s past and its creation as a Utopian community, she discovers a kindred spirit from the 1880s, Thatcher Greenwood.
A science teacher with a lifelong passion for honest investigation, Thatcher finds himself under siege in his community for telling the truth: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting new theory recently published by Charles Darwin.
Thatcher’s friendships with a brilliant woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor draw him into a vendetta with the town’s most powerful men. At home, his new wife and status-conscious mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal and dismiss his financial worries and the news that their elegant house is structurally unsound.
Unsheltered is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.
“We’re living through a scary historical moment when the most basic agreements about who we are as citizens, and how we’ll succeed in the world, are suddenly unraveling. It isn’t the first time. Unsheltered speaks to these moments, and uses the lens of unraveling the past to ask where we might be headed,” says Kingsolver.
Publishers Weekly says: “Kingsolver’s meticulously observed, elegantly structured novel unites social commentary with gripping storytelling…Containing both a rich story and a provocative depiction of times that shake the shelter of familiar beliefs, this novel shows Kingsolver at the top of her game.”
To get your copy of Unsheltered, click here.