The Lacuna

The Lacuna

by Barbara Kingsolver
3.4 200

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The Lacuna: Deluxe Modern Classic 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 200 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I kept wondering how she would end this quirky tale. Brilliantly!
BillPilgrim More than 1 year ago
Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, and she did not disappoint me in this novel. She tells the story of revolutionary Mexico in the 1920's and 30's, and of the United States in the 1940's through the diaries and letters of Harrison S, who was born in the U.S. of an American father and a Mexican mother. He moved with his mother to Mexico when his parents separated. We see him as a boy when his mother is trying to snag a rich new husband. He goes to see the muralist Diego Garcia working and ends up mixing his plaster for him. He sees Frida Kalho in the market one day and offers to carry her purchases home for her. These chance events leads to his living in their household as a cook, typist, driver, etc. during the time that they give sanctuary to Trostsky, who is hiding from Stalin's assassins. After Trotsky is killed. Harrison moves to the States, for his own safety. He ends up in Asheville, North Carolina and becomes a famous author writing stories about Mexico's Native American people, but his prior associations, and his own beliefs, come to be, let's say, a disadvantage during the anti-communist hysteria. The book is a mix of fiction and history. It is of course based on actual events, and I was often left wondering how much was fact. The author tries to set this up in the beginning a bit, but not clearly enough for me. I am now left needing to read the source books she cites, but I am sure that I will find those quite enjoyable. I was a little bit wary that I would find the second half of the book less engaging that the portion based in Mexico. In The Poisonwood Bible, I so much more enjoyed the part of the book about the children growing up in the jungle than I did the end part when they were adults. But, that did not occur this time. Harrison's experiences as an author and as a target of the McCarthyites held my interest completely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbara Kingsolver writes an amazing and thought provoking novel. It is not a fast read, but it spans an era that we do not often hear about. It tackles hard questions about who the villains of the last century really are and who are the innocent victims. I loved how she wove historical characters and actual events. When viewed through the eyes of the main character, they take on a whole new understanding. I thoroughly loved this book.
SuperReaderGirl More than 1 year ago
I will read anything by Barbara Kingsolver. It started with "The Bean Trees" and now I'm hooked. It's not so much the stories she writes, though they are always fascinating, it's the way they are written. I find myself re-reading sentences thinking, "How did she even think to put those words together?!" It's beautiful. The Lacuna gleans a mixed review from this reader. It was decidedly slow-moving. I did not feel any sort of emotional attachment to any of the characters (which is something I tend to enjoy in a novel). Let's just say, it took me about two weeks to read which is generally unheard of! Not exactly a page turner. However,in the end, I can say that I would have to recommend it, especially if you're a Kingsolver fan. The book is written as a series of journal entries, articles and editorial commentary that made it seem like non-fiction-- a form of writing that stands out as one of my favorites-- and takes the reader through the life of Harrison Shepherd, a would-be author who finds himself involved with the real life characters Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Trotsky during the period before, during and after World War Two. Kingsolver's books always have some underlying political commentary (which I generally do not agree with) and this was no different as the book brings the reader into the era of anti-communism and McCarthy. This book had me running to Google to check the facts. If only I had more time at work, I'd be on my way to becoming a cold war expert. Read it...
SugarCT More than 1 year ago
Kingsolver takes us on an historical journey seen through the eyes of an innocent; the political times and issues broached bring to mind the politics of today. Kinsolver's writing style is impressive and often reads as lovely prose with, however, deep and often heartrenching truths. A fabulous read! Enjoy!
DSkolnick More than 1 year ago
it's been a while since this avid reader was so awed by a book. It's not a book I breezed through -- I enjoyed savoring the beautiful language, images, and ideas. It is a brilliant commentary on how our lives are shaped by politics and forces larger than ourselves. Bravo, Barbara Kingsolver! This is a book to be treasured, reread, and talked about with other thoughtful readers.
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This is a most unusual and fascinating story. The writing is also very polished. It is a fairly long book but I was surprised at how quickly I finished it -- must have neglected chores and sleep to do that. It demonstrates the impact of public events on unsuspecting individuals and has a delightful twist for the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
michMI More than 1 year ago
I have read a couple of bios of the character. I guess I'm not the usual reader; I found the book tedious, too long and didn't even finish it. I am a fan of Barbara Kingsolver, but didn't like this book at all and wouldn't lend it from my nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Barbara Kingsolver, but this is not one of her best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The novel begins as a study in character, in human relationships, in the heart of an artist. But the political becomes personal as revolution, war, and the rise of communism profoundly affect the lives of both historical and fictional characters in this compelling novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great novel from one of America's best. The mix of actual history with her fictional characters is seamless. I wanted to Google both the real and made up character names to be sure. As always, Kingsolver addresses important social issues, this time, homosexuality, communism, prejudice, and war. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this novel.
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I found the characters to be very human and well-rounded. This book was an enjoyable read, but also touched on many thought-provoking topics. If you are the type who likes to swallow whatever is handed to you bc that is easier (and I'm being serious, not flippant), then this is not the book for you. There are several topic broached that could be considered controversial by some. Serious reader will enjoy this. This is a well written historical fiction..the boundary between fact and fiction was seamless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago