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Showing 1-10 of 858 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,364 reviews
on October 11, 2016
Barbara Kingsolver is an amazing writer. I have loved some of her books and been unable to read some, so I never can approach her knowing what is coming. This book along with "Pigs in Heaven" is one of my favorites. She loves and respects the characters and even the landscape becomes a living part of the story. There is a great tenderness among these people. There is a villain in the background but we are never introduced to him, only to the pain he has caused, and one damaged ex. Everyone else is just a decent human trying to make his or her way. BTW, there is an audio version of this which reminded me just how much I loved it, which is why I bought a new copy of the book.
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on April 17, 2014
This cleverly written, engrossing tale of Marietta/Taylor Greer's escape from her birthplace in Kentucky, and what eventually happens to her in Arizona.
The story (and it's a good story) is about family, friendship and our responsibilities as people.
To give an example of Kingsolver's style (of which I have long been a fan) her description of Taylor's first stop, a bar in Oklahoma:
"..and the black grease on the back of the stove looked like it had been there since the Dawn of Man. The air in there was so hot and stale it felt like I had to breathe it twice to get any oxygen out of it." - p. 21

At this point Taylor is 'given' an Indian baby girl - whom she callsTurtle.

And this, a description of the house she ends up sharing with Lou Ann and her baby Dwayne Rae:
"The house was old and roomy, there was plenty of space for Turtle's bed in my room. It was the type of house they called a "rambling bungalow" (the term reminded me somehow of Elvis Presley movies) with wainscoting and steam radiators and about fifty coats of paint on the door frames..." - p. 191

SPOILER ALERT!

Taylor has a job, and gets to know two Guatemalan refugees who are being helped by Mattie, Taylor's boss. Now Taylor is starting to understand the sort of problems other people face, and so when she decides to try to sort out her own legal standing with Turtle, she volunteers to take Estevan and Esperanza with her.

This scene where the Guatemalans are posing as Turtle's natural parents, giving Taylor permission to adopt her, was heart-wrenching:
"Esperanza...held her against her chest, rocking back and forth for a very long time with her eyes squeezed shut...the rest of us watched... Here was a mother and her daughter, nothing less. A mother and child - in a world that could barely be bothered with mothers and children - who were going to be taken apart. Everybody believed it." - p. 291

How appropriate for this time!
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on October 2, 2015
I read this for high school and remembered this for it's language and it's protagonist leaving one life for another. Now, I decided to read this again, just for the sake of reading. The characters were what set me up to be interested in this story again. Taylor, sarcastic and deadpan, is the star of the book. Her narration reminds me of a high school girl and her trials and tribulations of raising a Native American girl (named Turtle) is the prime reason to read this book. The supporting characters do their job well. Lou Ann Ruiz is a divorce reconstructing her life when she meets Taylor, Mattie is the boss of a mechanics that specializes in tires that Taylor works at, and a couple later joins the cast as well (forgive me for not knowing their names, I have not gotten there yet.) The story isn't perfect, though. As much as I should know about their pasts, I felt that men got the short end of the stick, but I haven't fully read the book yet, so I might not know. Another is in later in the book. I won't spoil it, but it left me with a small taste that made me shudder. If you like books that have a spunky female lead that takes place in the past, give it a read.
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on March 16, 2017
This is a novel whose time has come, again. In this period of xenophobia and injustice, Taylor, and Turtle and Esteban and Mattie call us back to what it means to be human, and humane. If you've already read this book -- read it again. If you've not read it, drop what you're doing and pick it up. You won't be sorry!
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on May 24, 2017
As much as I read, it's hard to believe I only recently read my first Barbara Kingsolver Book. This is my second and I'll be acquiring all of her books. I'd seen her books, but somehow got the idea that she is a romance author. This book is set at an undisclosed time but could take place from the later part of the 20th century to the present. The issues are today's issues. It's also a book about courage and finding family among strangers in a land that could not be more different than the home left behind. It's 4:13 am and I've just finished reading it for the first time.
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on April 29, 2017
This was my first book from Barbara Kingsolver, and I really like her style. It is always fun to read about the places I've been to, because it keeps my attention. The main character is a young woman, traveling out in the world to make it on her own, when she receives the gift of a little girl. The people, who had the girl were not good to her, so a Good Samaritan got her out of that world. This leads to an adventure, gaining more new friends, as they get to AZ. I thought I knew what was going to happen, and then she surprised me. A very good book.
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on January 10, 2017
While looking back at some of the kindle books I had purchased years ago, I found this book that I had read in 2014. I read it again which is unusual for me. Such a sweet story with great characters. A few typos in the reading but not enough to bother your reading. I intend to look for more books written by this author. Loved the story.
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on February 7, 2014
You dont' need me to tell you that Barbara Kingsolver is a remarkable story teller. This one will break your heart a little bit. Having read her "Pigs in Heaven" which is a continuation of this story, I do wonder why all of her characters are so horrendously flawed. I know that most of us carry some baggage, but her people seem to be so damaged as to be almost unable to participate in day to day society. I find that so discouraging. The Kingsolver books seem to ask questions and never really give you a good answer, but only force more difficult questions. I know life is not black and white, but there are moments of startling clarity. That is what gives us all hope. I always feel a bit more hopeless after reading one of these. It is a really sad story masquerading as a sad story. Sigh.
But, heavens sakes, go ahead and read it. You will be amazed and can feast on her words. And then go eat some chocolate and feel better!
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on April 12, 2013
I have always forced myself to finish a book once started - with a few exceptions; those that become agonizing to read such as this one. I gave this book two stars because it is not actually a bad book, just a very very boring one. The problem for me is that the story goes NOWHERE. I'm not getting any younger and there are so many good books out there to be read. I just decided not to waste any more time on this one.
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on May 11, 2017
I loved this book. I wanted to spend more time with the characters and thankfully, so did Barbara Kingsolver (I read the second book too) I find the way she connects her characters to one another and the way she uses the english language delicious. It soothes my soul and makes me happy to be part of the family of humanity. (I find the 6th grade multiple choice questions Amazon is asking with this review to be a bit odd though, and I read this book 6 months ago and can't really remember if it was written in first or second person... sorry Amazon)
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