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Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
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Pigs in Heaven (original 1993; edition 1994)

by Barbara Kingsolver

Series: Turtle (2)

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4,688511,010 (3.9)103
Member:ariaa03
Title:Pigs in Heaven
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:Harper Perennial (1994), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver (1993)

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Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
A bit disappointing. I enjoyed The Bean Trees more.
( )
  ArleenWilliams | Jul 22, 2014 |
“It occurs to her that there is one thing about people you can never understand well enough: how entirely inside themselves they are.” ( )
  JennyArch | Jun 7, 2014 |
Warning: Spoilers for The Bean Trees.

As I noted in my review of The Bean Trees, I was bothered by the plot device of the Cherokee child conveniently acquired without strings, and an adoption made legal by a deception that coopted other people. The sequel aims to fix this situation.

On a trip to the Hoover Dam, Turtle watches a man drop into a spillway and wonders how he’ll get out. Taylor didn’t see, but trusts that her daughter doesn’t make stuff up, so she pesters officials until someone pays attention and the man is rescued. Turtle becomes a local celebrity and is invited onto Oprah, where she is noticed by Annawake, a lawyer for the Cherokee Nation. Annawake checks out the adoption story and discovers a glaring discrepancy: Taylor said on TV that Turtle was given to her by the sister of the dead mother, but the official adoption papers are signed by a couple claiming to be the birth parents. Either way is a violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act, which stipulates that the decision belongs to the tribe.

Annawake drops in on Taylor in Tucson. Taylor panics and sets off with Turtle, keeping in touch with boyfriend Jax. Taylor’s mother Alice in Kentucky leaves her uncommunicative husband and joins Taylor and Turtle on the road. Annawake sends a letter explaining the law and the problems it is meant to remedy, which Jax opens and reads over the phone. Alice is sympathetic and figures she can visit cousin Sugar who married a Cherokee, and with whom she shares a Cherokee grandmother, to see what’s what. Cash, retreated from his Cherokee origins to Wyoming for a few years after family deaths and estrangements, is prompted by a disillusioning incident to return home and maybe find what happened to his granddaughter. So now Taylor is on the lam with Turtle realizing the perils of being alone, Alice is a welcome guest realizing the comforts of an extended family, and Annawake is trying to balance law and people. This is all a bit spoilerish, but the relevance of the strands is obvious early on. The essence of the novel is abundant humanity with a neatly wrapped package at the end.

So it’s a novel, and coincidental resolution is satisfying, but the loose ends are irritating. Where are Estevan and Esperanza, dramatically crucial to the adoption? They rate a sentence. Turtle was abused and that’s just kinda let go. It’s individual versus community, with colorful characters and a subplot of lactose intolerance. Oh, and also it’s told in present tense, so every time I picked up the book I was simultaneously looking forward to the story and bracing to readjust to the style.
1 vote qebo | Feb 22, 2014 |
3.5 stars

Taylor adopted a little Native girl, 3-year old Turtle, after Turtle was "dumped" on her by a stranger saying to take care of her. When Turtle is 6, something happens to bring the two of them into the limelight, and they are noticed by Annawake, a Cherokee lawyer who insists the adoption is illegal and sets out to bring Turtle back to the Cherokee Nation and to her roots.

It was a bit slow at times, but whenever Taylor and Annawake interacted, I was riveted. But, there wasn't enough of that for me. I thought the ending was a little too nice and neat for me, very unrealistic, I thought. I liked some of the characters, well, particularly one: Taylor's boyfriend, Jax, who was quirky, but very likeable. Overall, it was still good, but I think it could have been better, although I don't know how I would have wanted it to end, but it just wasn't realistic enough for me. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jan 7, 2014 |
This is the sequel to the wonderful novel, [b:The Bean Trees|30868|The Bean Trees|Barbara Kingsolver|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1176567973s/30868.jpg|1095121]. For some strange reason, the books do not label each other as sequels, but the so very much are.

Basic Summary: This picks up 3 years after the conclusion of The Bean Trees, when Turtle (who was thrust upon Taylor at a bar on the side of the road in Oklahoma) has fully settled into life with her Non-Indian mother in Arizona. Everything changes for them after Turtle is the only witness to a man falling down a spillway at Hoover Dam; an event that makes her a primetime hero. She's featured on Oprah, with other children who have saved lives, and is spotted by Annawake Fourkiller - a lawyer for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Annawake instantly knows that Turtle is Cherokee and begins finding a way to have her returned to the tribe where, Annawake feels, she best belongs. Shenanigans and hijinx ensue in this moving tale of family, Cherokee culture and the gentle way of the South.

This book was delicately written, soft-spoken with such unexpected power. I had tears in my eyes by the end of the book, eagerly devouring each page -- anxious to find out what would happen to Turtle. Barbara Kingsolver does an unmatched job of creating depth in her surroundings. It is evident that she cares very much about the seemingly innocuous details of the Cherokee tribe culture, the southern dialects, the NW weather.. everything she put to words, she put with her heart.

I loved this book.

Favorite Quotes:

1) "I think TV does all the talking for you and after awhile you forget how to hold up your end".

2) "Cash wanted to know every single how and what, in order to muffle the sound of 'why?'."

3) "Everybody's got their troubles, and their reasons for getting a clean start. People's always curious for the details, but seem like that's just because we're hoping somebody else's life is a worst mess than ours".

4) "He's not really running away, Angie explained, he just don't have a real good understanding of where home ends and the rest of the world picks up". ( )
  tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
The case for community is so one-sided and the outcome so predictable that the reader begins to suffocate in all the sweetness. You begin to cringe at treacly lines like "Heaven's on down the trail a little bit" and "I oftentimes have communication problems with my heart." Ms. Kingsolver is oftentimes a talented, funny writer in "Pigs in Heaven," but after a while you begin to wish she would invent a Hell, Okla., and make a case for living there, too.
 
Barbara Kingsolver's terrific new novel, "Pigs in Heaven," picks up where her highly acclaimed first novel, "The Bean Trees," left off. In this heart-twisting sequel, her feisty young heroine, Taylor Greer, is faced with the possibility of losing her 6-year-old daughter, Turtle.
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Kingsolverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Critt, C. J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060922532, Paperback)

A phenomenal bestseller and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for fiction, Pigs in Heaven continues the story of Taylor and Turtle, first introduced in The Bean Trees.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:08 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Brings together Taylor, Turtle and Alice from "The Bean Trees" together with a new cast - Jax, Barbie Sugar Boss, Oklahoma and Annawake Fourkiller. When six-year-old Turtle witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, her insistence, and her mother's belief in her, leads to a man's rescue.… (more)

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