October 26, 2006

Kingsolver's books worth reading

A little about KingsolverThe Bean Trees is the first of Kingsolver’s novels. It is the story of Taylor Greer, who left Kentucky because “being barefoot and pregnant wasn’t my style.” Traveling to Arizona in a beaten-up old Volkswagen that would only start on a hill, Taylor ironically ends up with a child. The child, a Cherokee, is given to Taylor at a gas station/restaurant. Taylor soon learns that the child has been abused. Because she doesn’t speak and clings to Taylor, Taylor names her “Turtle.” The adventures of Taylor and Turtle and their friends are a delight. There are also refugees from Central America, and a store called “Jesus is Lord Used Tires.”

A follow-up book is Pigs in Heaven, more or less the continuing saga of Turtle. Taylor discovers that Turtle is lactose intolerant, as are many native Americans, and this problem sets up the conflict between Taylor’s guardianship of Turtle and the rights of her Cherokee tribe. Taylor’s mother appears in Pigs in Heaven, a refugee from her new husband, who thinks that spraying everything with WD-40 is all it takes for a good marriage.

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