Unsheltered — Barbara Kingsolver

After a wonderful Kate Atkinson, I turned to Barbara Kingsolver for another quality comfort read. It was a good choice!

Unsheltered is about feeling unmoored and insecure as everything around you changes. The book flits back and forth between 2016 and 1871 and the stories of two people who live in the same falling-down house in Vineland, New Jersey. Baby-boomer freelance journalist Willa Knox is struggling to manage a complicated family life or come to terms with the political shift underway in the Republican primary. School teacher and Darwin follower Thatcher Greenwood is grappling with teaching science in a town where the community places a higher premium on the voice of its founder than truth.

As political commentary, it only goes so far. The characters can feel slightly contrived and the parallels between past and present at times a bit laboured. But it’s still a beautiful and a hugely enjoyable novel. Kingsolver has absolutely maintained her place in my heart and on my bookshelves as someone I can always turn to for high-class escapism and fantastic storytelling.

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