The Lacuna
  • The Lacuna
  • The Lacuna
ISBN: 0060852577
EAN13: 9780060852573
Language: English
Release Date: Nov 3, 2009
Pages: 528
Dimensions: 1.5" H x 9" L x 6.5" W
Weight: 1.85 lbs.
Format: Hardcover
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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

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 I. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America's hopeful image and Read More chevron_right

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Book Reviews (14)

5
  |   14  reviews
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5
   So Many Reasons to Love this Story by the Inimitable Ms. Kingsolver
There are so many reasons to love The Lacuna The characters are the lovable protagonist Harrison Shepherd, with his quick wit. His equally sensible assistant Mrs. Brown, who he says is lovable as pancake flour. The colourful historical figures Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and their equally colorful relationship with one another. The sympathetic Lev and his secretary van and the tension their presence brings to the story and to my own now-updated understanding of the relationship between Stalin, Lenin and Trotsky and the pre-McCarthy period in our country. And the real antagonists, Joseph Stalin and various members of the U.S. government, who can not help but hate, even if it does make you feel anti-American. The language was a rich medley of voice, metaphor and original structure that could only be created by the inimitable Ms. Kingsolver. The story is an enduring story of love and grief, of overcoming obstacles and survival.
 
5
   A great story.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to fall into a fantastic story and walk alongside some amazing characters.
 
5
   Fantastic storytelling
I love this book and I am no Kingsolver fan. An absorbing story that weaves in historical events about the revolutionaries Leon Trotsky, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The backdrops are a lush Mexican island, Mexico City, and Asheville, North Carolina in the middle of the 20th century!
 
1
   Uninteresting
I did not like this book at all! It was confusing and very difficult to enter and I didn 't discover who the book was about, Frieda and Diego, until a third of the way through it when I gave up on it. The book club member who liked it, recommended it for its historical significance. But it still did not appeal to me.
 
5
   slooow to get started, but unforgettable
Like every Barbara Kingsolver book I have read, sometimes as you are reading, you are left thinking why I should care about these people. However, unlike the other two books I mentioned, this book does a far better job of making the characters sympathetic and understandable. Be warned though that the first 100 pages or more are a little bit of a snoozer.
 
5
   An amazing historical novel.
While I had difficulty getting engaged with the story, not realizing that it was a young boy's journal, I was unwilling to give up and soon realized that Kingsolver had written a masterpiece about our nation's troubled past and the fears that continue to drive its gifts underground.
 
5
   Harrison Shepard is quite a character
This book is a famous burn - you think it's about one thing - the slow people in it, maybe Mexico, but it comes over time. It is about one person and all those in his orbit, including the history in which he lives. And a person's life is the thing, that is what Harrison Shepard's books tell their readers and that is what Violet Brown tells us - his future readers. I don 't want to give away any of the story, but it is a great story and resides so nicely in it's history. Ultimately, it is about us all, because we all sit within our own historical times.
 
5
   What fabulous book - how have I missed it all these years!
The book is a masterpiece in itself. So dramatic, so complex -- I just loved it. Kameda is an amazing writer, Kingslover! The book was so enticing about such an informative part of North American history. She weaves American history into the events in the US at that time, primarily in the 30's and 40's. And isn 't that how history should be approached - we are all so interconnected. But the history lesson apart, her writing is simply amazing. Her craftmanship makes her one of the best authors of our time, in my opinion. It's a long book, but my interest has never wavered. Both her characters - both realistic and imagined - were written with such compassion and empathy. The book I can not recommend more highly. IT LOVED HER!
 
5
   Slow start
I had a hard time getting into this book, in fact, I started it a while ago and put it down after only a few pages, but picked it back when it was our book club choice. I am so glad that I did! This tells the story of a fictional writer from his boyhood in the United States with his opportunistic mother through his move to Mexico as an adult to escape the inquisition by the Mexican government surrounding the execution of the Socialist leader Trotsky for whom he worked. The genius of filtering the real events and characters of Harrison with Diego, Frieda and Trotsky's quick and dry humor perspective was a pleasure to read. It was political and parallels to the fascinating events that are current.
 
4
   Glad I finally picked this one up
The Poisonwood Bible is one of my favorite books, but other books by Barbara Kingsolver have been very disappointing, so I faced the Lacuna with some trepidation, especially since it contains historical figures. Very glad I read it '', it is indeed beautifully written and the main character is indeed multi-dimensional.
 
12