6 journalers for this copy...
" In her most accomplished novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. "The Lacuna" is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.
Born in the United States, reared in a series of provisional households in Mexico--from a coastal island jungle to 1930s Mexico City--Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers who put him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets, and one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He discovers a passion for Aztec history and meets the exotic, imperious artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his lifelong friend. When he goes to work for Lev Trotsky, an exiled political leader fighting for his life, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution, newspaper headlines and howling gossip, and a risk of terrible violence.
Meanwhile, to the north, the United States will soon be caught up in the internationalist goodwill of World War II. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America's hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. He finds support from an unlikely kindred soul, his stenographer, Mrs. Brown, who will be far more valuable to her employer than he could ever know. Through darkening years, political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach--the lacuna--between truth and public presumption.
With deeply compelling characters, a vivid sense of place, and a clear grasp of how history and public opinion can shape a life, Barbara Kingsolver has created an unforgettable portrait of the artist--and of art itself. "The Lacuna" is a rich and daring work of literature, establishing its author as one of the most provocative and important of her time."
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
What a great read!
A very well written novel with a good pace and some amazing characters, quite a few of them real and bigger than life, Frida, Diego and Trotsky certainly catch your eye.
It's almost an historical novel but it doesn't really aim to be that.
I really enjoyed this novel and the way that it is written with the story unfolding through journals and diaries, the author drags the reader in and once you're in you just have to know what is going to happen to Shepherd.
A great book that I certainly recommend, especially if you like epic novels.
I liked almost everything about it: the structure of the book, which is a mixture of journals of the main character, William Shepherd, since he was a boy until he becomes an adult, the main narrator, the supposed compiler of the book, and several newspaper clips. The writing of adult Shepherd/Kingsolver is beautiful, the story is truly epic, covering important moments of Mexican and USA history, and Kingsolver does a very good job mixing fictional and historical characters in a very credible narrative. As Violet Brown would say, my stars, what a great novel!
The book is now available for other bookcrossers.
I loved the way Harrison Shepard almost becomes invisible in is diaries: first he is simply "the boy", then "Pancho Villa" when he goes to the United States as a teenager arriving from Mexico, "plaster boy " and "sweet buns" when working for Diego Riviera and, finally, "Soli", the name Frida calls him. This first part of the book in Mexico is full of colour, smells, details of an exotic scenario and the life with the fascinating "aztec queen" and her "frog face" husband.
But the second part, as an adult writer seen by the eyes of the faithful Violet Brown is no less moving and interesting. Even funny, sometimes, as this except of a letter to his editor shows: "Your letter made reference to my secretary-typist, to whom you plan to forward more notations. Be assured, the secretary-typist will be in intimate contact with the author, the telephone receptionist, cook, and housekeeper, as we all presently inhabit the same four-dollar shoes. With clothing-rations coupons as they are, it's a useful arrangement".
Thanks, Pequete, for insisting that I should read this book.
Or not :)
It's almost Xmas time, but I'm sorry to tell you that I'm not your secret friend.
Just a not-so-secret person who thinks that you'll have to take a chance on this one.
And so highly praised as it was in the previous JEs, I can hardly wait to get started.
But I cannot. I must behave and read some other stuff first, things I already started and/or that are being kept waiting.
Thank you so, so much, you're the best!
This said, I did love reading this book and, difficult as it is to say more than already stated in previous JEs, I felt compelled to visit Mexico, to try one of Soli's recipes and learned a bit more about how "great" Americans and their systems are. Honestly?!
Thank you so much, once more and again, irus.
Meanwhile, discovered this book on Arvore's wishlist (wow!) therefore, that's where it'll travel next. :))
Thank you so much for sharing.