Pigs in Heaven: A Novel

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Overview

When six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, her insistence on what she has seen and her mother's belief in her lead to a man's dramatic rescue. But Turtle's moment of celebrity draws her into a conflict of historic proportions. The crisis quickly envelops not only Turtle and her mother, Taylor, but everyone else who touches their lives in a complex web connecting their future with their past.

Pigs in Heaven travels the roads from rural Kentucky ...

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Pigs in Heaven

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Overview

When six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, her insistence on what she has seen and her mother's belief in her lead to a man's dramatic rescue. But Turtle's moment of celebrity draws her into a conflict of historic proportions. The crisis quickly envelops not only Turtle and her mother, Taylor, but everyone else who touches their lives in a complex web connecting their future with their past.

Pigs in Heaven travels the roads from rural Kentucky and the urban Southwest to Heaven, Oklahoma, and the Cherokee Nation as it draws the reader into a world of heartbreak and redeeming love, testing the boundaries of family and the many separate truths about the ties that bind.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062277763
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 95,285
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts. She received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain's Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She now lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Biography

According to the biography on her website, Barbara Kingsolver began writing around the age of nine. Her early "oeuvre" included poems, short stories, and essays, including one noteworthy piece on school safety that was published in the local newspaper, helped to pass a local bond issue, and netted the author a $25 savings bond -- "on which she expected to live comfortably into adulthood."

Kingsolver left her native Kentucky to attend DePauw University on a piano scholarship; but intellectual curiosity (the same quality that informs her writing) prompted her to transfer from the music school to the college of liberal arts where she majored in biology. Immediately after college, she traveled in Greece and France and returned to the U.S. to pursue her master's degree in science from the University of Arizona. She worked for a while as a science writer for the university before becoming a freelance journalist. In 1986 she won an Arizona Press Club Award.

Kingsolver's first novel, The Bean Trees, was composed entirely at night during a period of chronic, pregnancy-related insomnia. Published in 1988, this story of a young woman transplanted from Kentucky to Tucson was reviewed enthusiastically by critics. " As clear as air," rhapsodized The New York Times Book Review. "It is the southern novel taken west, its colors as translucent and polished as one of those slices of rose agate from a desert shop." Readers, too, proclaimed the story a delight.

Since then, Kingsolver has produced a string of bestselling novels, including Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible (an Oprah's Book club selection), and Prodigal Summer. She has also authored collections of her poems (Another America), short stories (Homeland), and essays (Small Wonders); as well as nonfiction narratives like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Good To Know

In 2008, Kingsolver delivered the commencement address at Duke University, offering graduates advice on "How to be Hopeful."

She is a member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock and roll band consisting of published writers, including Amy Tan, Matt Groening, Dave Barry, and Stephen King among others.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 8, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Annapolis, Maryland
    1. Education:
      B.A., DePauw University, 1977; M.S., University of Arizona, 1981
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 78 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Surprisingly appealed to my tastes.

    Pigs in Heaven is a book I was really not looking forward to read at all. I chose it for the theme, and going into this I was dreading reading it, as there's nothing worse than having to read a really bad book, but I came out of it with a book that I can definitely call one of my favourites now.
    The real story begins with Taylor Greer on a sort of soul searching trip with her adoptive daughter, Turtle, a six year old girl Taylor was just handed three years earlier. They visit the Hoover Dam, and Turtle witnesses a near death, which lands them in the public eye for saving a man's life. It brings attention to Turtle's heritage, a void adoption, and a sudden battle to sort a girl into one of two cultures under what each think her best interests would be. Along the way, they meet strange characters, both for their gain and detriment, and the story not only follows them but a variety of characters all centered around the same plot. The relationships of every individual character that Kingsolver rotates through each chapter, and the development of their lives in relation to each other, highlights the actuality of personality in comparison to one's perception of themselves and the continuous segregation of culture and races in modern times.
    I can't really think of anything I didn't like about the book. The voice was really well executed, and the story line unlike anything I've read before. Somewhat educational, and research was obviously done to write the novel. One should read this book not for any particular reason than to read. It could aid in perhaps gaining a better understanding of modern segregation, but it's no history lesson.
    And although I tend to gravitate towards the 'New Science Fiction' section of the bookstores I frequent, there is a timeless quality that some books seem to have, this included, where you're not focusing on how it shallowly relates to your own life. You just read it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Mithos thinking

    Sits on a rock and thinks about Silence and Jag but mostly Silence. He lets goid memories xome flooding back. He smikes when he thinks about when he restored sight to her.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2011

    An Annoying and Somewhat Boring Book.

    Possible Spoilers.
    This book is definitely not the worst book out there. It has a lot of great description and characters and in all honesty at points it gets pretty interesting. However, the outcome of the book and the entire premise annoyed me to no end. The entire custody battle was annoying mostly because I felt more sympathy towards Taylor than Annawake, probably with the way things were presented between the two. The ending was far too disappointing for my taste as a result.
    Barbara Kingslover's writing is fine. It is beautiful and nobody can argue that. However, at one point when you're being told all the flowers in a field someone is passing by, you get really bored. I know I did. The over enthusiastic description is unnecessary a lot of the time. If you are one of those people that likes fast-paced storylines or a story with more dialogue than description, this is certainly not a book for you.
    Overall, it was not a great book. If I didn't have to read it for school I would have stopped reading it within the first cumbersome chapter. The story drags on and the long paragraph descriptions make you wonder how anyone could get through this book in the first place.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Great book

    Loved this book as much as I did Bean Trees!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Pigs Really Can Fly in Kingsolver's world!

    Kingsolver weaves the characters into a story that is unforgetable, building on culture of the localities involved. Great reading for pleasure and learning about differences.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    More Turtle, Please!

    What a wonderful follow-up to The Bean Trees! With Turtle finally settled with her "adoptive" mom, Taylor, officials from the Cherokee nation threaten her security. Taylor flees Tuscon, trying to make a safe home for Turtle, but she cannot run away from her sense of responsibility for Turtle's heritage. While swept away in this wonderful novel, I also found myself learning things about the history of Native Americans, and the horrible treatment they received from the white culture. An amazing book that I wanted to go on and on. Any chance of a sequel?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    The story of Taylor and Turtle continues but it doesn't feel the same this go round. Not a bad book just not as good as the first... Sorry.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2005

    This is a really good book to read.

    I think this is a really good story for people who usually don't read. Its easy to follow the more you get into it. It's kind of sad at first and then at the end it all comes together to be a really good novel. I don't really read much but I couldn't put this book down. It had intresting characters in the story that you become to like because of how they handle certain situations. This is a really good book to read if you like to know a little about the Cherokee culture.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2004

    Great

    This book was much better than the first book 'The Bean Tree' it has drama, action and keeps your interest page after page. Barbara Kingslover did a wonderful job.This is a must read book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2013

    Loved it!

    This is the second book I have read by Barbara Kingsolver, choosing it because I liked the other one. I was not disappointed. Although at times the story is almost...I say ALMOST...unbelievable, it was an amazing read. She is a master story-teller. Read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    One of my faves

    I loved this book. It is preceded by "The Bean Trees" and continues the saga of a Native American baby adopted by a well meaning but down on her luck white woman. In this story, inter racial and inter cultural issues are raised on the one hand while on the other it is a heartfelt story of loving relationships. I only wish Ms Kingsolver had continued the story of Turtle in yet a third novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Ccccccccocoa::):):):):)

    Me toooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!@#$%&*-+(!"':;/,):):):):):):)

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Crystal

    I AM very please that the other took out so much time to write this book my favorite part was when lidia was LOCKED OUT OF the dungan because the pig took the keys and ran away ALL BOOKS should be just like this one SOME ONE HELP ME

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    To anno

    I kessage d u

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Haliey

    Hi

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A great story.

    This is one of those great struggles of right, wrong, and what is best for a person. Turtle the young girl who was illegally adopted is an Indian. The tribe has a great responsibility to this child who was adopted by a white woman. Her new Mom is a great Mom. The struggle is when an Indian attorney discovers the mistake. The dilemma of right and wrong pulls every reader in different directions. It's a great story of quirky people trying to do what is right, but so heartbreaking you can hardly put the book down.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Eh

    It was kind of boring and there were entire paragraphs that I skipped. It was redeemed though by the ecentric characters and the parts that made me laugh out loud.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    Wonderful Read

    After having read The Bean Tree I couldn't wait to read this book! It brings Taylor and Turtle closer as they share their relationship with Jax, Taylor's devoted boyfriend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2005

    Pigs in Heaven

    Pigs in Heaven is a story of hope, love and inspiration. Taylor Greer, a devoted mother, lives in Tucson, AZ and raises an adopted child, Turtle. While visiting the Hoover Dam, Turtle sees someone struggling in the water below. Their heroic efforts to save the man bring them national attention (an appearance on a popular talk show) and unwanted questions about Turtle¿s adoption status. Annawake Fourkiller, a Cherokee lawyer, immediately recognizes the heritage of Turtle, and suspects her adoption was done illegally. ICWA requires tribal approval for adoptions to non-tribal members. This did not happen in Turtle¿s case. Because of this investigation, Taylor goes on the run with Turtle to Seattle and ultimately to a nearby Native American community. There are many numerous and touching events on their journey. This story is based on the life of a loving mother who goes to extreme measures to keep from being separated from her adopted daughter, who she views as her own. After reading this book, I felt like I knew the characters personally and was concerned about their well-being. I formed a bond with Taylor and supported her actions as a mother. This novel is an emotional and heartfelt story of the cultural differences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2004

    A compelling yet uninspiring read

    Although I have not yet read the prequel to Pigs in Heaven, Kingsolver's novel was very easily to get into and understand. I find Kingsolver's writing style amusing and mildly entertaining but tiresome; her constantly humorous tone gets to be quite boring. Nevertheless, there were several moments when I nearly cried, for example, when Taylor steps into Anna Fourkiller's office. I thought Fourkiller would force Taylor to give up her daughter. In addition, upon finishing the novel, I was not left with some sort of meaningful conclusion. The story simply ends. There is no deeper significance or moral to this fiction. No Aha! The last few chapters also seemed as if Kingsolver changed her mind about the ending. One minute Alice and Cash's relationship was progressing quickly and marriage might soon take place and Taylor would be allowed full custody of Turtle, and in the next moment, Alice and Cash couldn't stand to be around each other. Possibly Kingsolver did this intentionally to highlight the dynamics of the relationship and the difference with Alice's monotone past marriages, however, this was not clear. Altogether, I recommend this book. I could not put in down while I was reading it, despite its continually amusing tone. Kingsolver is a highly talented writer and has the ability to capture her audience's attention.

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