Unsheltered

Unsheltered

A Novel

Book - 2018
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New York Times bestseller

The New York Times bestselling author of Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, and The Poisonwood Bible and recipient of numerous literary awards--including the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Orange Prize--returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.

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.

Publisher: New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062684561
0062684566
Branch Call Number: KINGSOLV
Characteristics: 464 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion


Featured Blogs and Events

An Eloquent And Provocative New Barbara Kingsolver Novel

Unsheltered is more than the title of Barbara Kingsolver's new book; it is the thoughtful overarching metaphor which connects the characters from two distinct time frames in one place. Kingsolver juxtaposes turmoil from today and the past, and yet wit and resilience are found throughout each storyline via gripping dialogue between the characters—their struggles and solace is found in vivid… (more)


From Library Staff

Set in the Pine Barren region of New Jersey, Kingsolver's newest novel features parallel narratives juxtaposing society's turmoil from today with the past. Real-life naturalist Mary Treat is among the most charismatic and intriguing characters. There is wit and resilience expressed in gripping di... Read More »

Unsheltered features alternating chapters of 19th and 21st century stories both set in New Jersey's Pine Barren region. Anthill by E.O. Wilson is a similarly thought-provoking and richly detailed novel which echoes reverence for the natural world of rural Alabama & Florida.

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LPL_ShirleyB Sep 19, 2018

Kingsolver’s new novel is complex juxtaposing parallel stories of the social turmoil we’re experiencing today with 19th century religious challenges to science and evolution. Wit and resilience are expressed in gripping dialogue between the characters—their struggles and solace found in vivid con... Read More »


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g
GummiGirl
Nov 06, 2018

Kingsolver addresses multiple social issues, as she has in her other novels, but keeps them from weighing down the plot too much. The many characters and their relationships only sometimes become cliches, and her writing is as beautiful as always.

s
Shirleynature
Oct 16, 2018

A new book by Kingsolver is super exciting!

LPL_ShirleyB Sep 19, 2018

Kingsolver’s new novel is complex juxtaposing parallel stories of the social turmoil we’re experiencing today with 19th century religious challenges to science and evolution. Wit and resilience are expressed in gripping dialogue between the characters—their struggles and solace found in vivid connections with nature and each other.

debwalker Sep 18, 2018

Barbara Kingsolver's ambitious novel follows characters in different centuries as they undergo seismic cultural shifts.

t
theequ1nn
Jul 25, 2018

Sarah Bird took this route in her novel Above the East China Sea. A young woman's issues on the island of Okinawa in today's world, and the issues of a young woman during WW2. Come to think of it, the
late great author Philip Kerr also did this in his Bernie Gunther thrillers.

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