Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Lacuna

I absolurly adored Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna. The story of Harrison Shepherd, a writer told from his own point of view as well as a one or two others, this is an absorbing story, taking in much of early twentieth century history, with that of the Aztecs and the Russian Revolution as sideshows. There are aspects of American history that I knew nothing about, such as the treatment of veterans of the First World War, and some aspects of Mexican history of which I was only just aware, such as the life of Trotsky with Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo after his flight from Stalin. With its major themes of identity, memory, loss, and how individuals both form historical events and are part of history. A rich and rewarding read, with amazing details, research, stories and colour. The writing at times has an almost filmic quality, such are the qualities of description, and the characters are living, breathing people It certainly deserved the win of the Orange prize for fiction last year.

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