HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
Loading...

Unsheltered (edition 2018)

by Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Kingsolver

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7751038,243 (3.64)110
How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks, and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals, and have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. The magazine where Willa worked has folded; the college where her husband had tenure has closed. Their dubious shelter is also the only option for a disabled father-in-law and an exasperating, free-spirited daughter. When the family's one success story, an Ivy-educated son, is uprooted by tragedy, he seems likely to join them, with dark complications of his own. In another time, a troubled husband and public servant asks, How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting work just published by Charles Darwin. His young bride and social-climbing mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his worries that their elegant house is unsound. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town's powerful men. This is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it.… (more)
Member:mring42
Title:Unsheltered
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Other authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:New York : HarperCollins, 2018.
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:to-read

Work Information

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 110 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
A dual-timeline narrative covering two families living on the same land in New Jersey, separated by 140 years. In 2016, we find the Knox family: protagonist Willa and her husband, Iano, live in an inherited run-down house with their two adult children, father-in-law, and grandchild. They are dealing with a family tragedy, crumbling house, massive debt, loss of employment, and health care issues.

In 1871, we find the Greenwood family: schoolteacher Thatcher Greenwood and his materialistic wife Rose deal with a dilapidated house and lack of resources. Greenwood wants to share Darwin’s new theories with his classes, but the locals are decidedly against it. He befriends neighboring scientist, Mary Treat, who has corresponded with Darwin and conducts botanical and entomological experiments in her home. The story is told in alternating perspectives between the two families.

Positives: The stories are well-crafted and woven together with common themes. It tackles several critical issues of today and ties them to their root causes. It explores the concept of shelter from both an individual and global perspective.

Negatives: The book is full of lengthy dialogues among the characters that do not feel organic. The messaging is a little too blatant, almost as if the author does not trust the reader to “get it” from a more nuanced story. I usually love books that feature science, but I found my mind wandering.

Overall: It is a good read, but not my favorite by this author. It is hard not to compare it to her earlier writings. I much preferred The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Preachy, heavy-handed, and overlong. Where was the editor? Everyone in it was just a caricature: racist old (republican) man, selfish millennial, woke millennial, happy-go-lucky/oblivious dad, ahead of her time female scientist, and on and on and on. I only finished this because I'm responsible for leading my book group's discussion about it. I'm just so sorry that I inflicted this novel on everyone else. Hopefully some people enjoyed it more than I did. The historical fiction chapters were actually interesting, but the modern day chapters really just ruined it for me. I also hated how the last sentence of every chapter would then turn into the title of the next chapter. Ugh. Kingsolver just tried way too hard to be clever in this novel and it did not work. ( )
1 vote SarahMac314 | Aug 12, 2022 |
Two families live in the same ramshackle house 150 years apart. Thatcher, in the 1870's struggles as a science teacher who wants to teach evolution. Iano and his wife move in 150 years later, afraid the house will crumble around them, but unable to afford anything else as he begins the chase for tenure again at yet another college. Both families deal with multiple generations living together. People in both families befriend the unconventional neighbors. ( )
  mojomomma | Jul 17, 2022 |
I could not finish this book. It was all over the place. The family would be at the dinner table discussing politics, then you would go to the neighbors and discuss biology. Then the son would enter the picture. The next paragraph would enter new characters. I reread so much of this book just to figure out where I was..... ( )
  wincheryl | Jun 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
Multi-award-winning Kingsolver's eighth novel (after Flight Behavior) tells two stories in alternating chapters, both taking place on the same residential lot in Vineland, NJ, but roughly 150 years apart. In the 1870s, science teacher Thatcher struggles with meeting the expectations of his socially ambitious wife while running afoul of school and city morality for teaching Darwinism and develops a connection with his next-door neighbor, naturalist Mary Treat. In the present day, journalist Willa tries to hold her family together, four generations of which are living in a house that is literally falling down around them, as they struggle with medical bills, tragedy, and long-buried conflict. In the historical story (Thatcher and his family are fictional, but other characters and plot elements are based on real people and events), Kingsolver finds parallels to our current political climate without being heavy-handed, conveying the frustration and despair of members of the professional middle class, who "did all the right things" but feel they are losing ground.
added by kthomp25 | editLibrary Journal
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
- Wallace Stevens, “The Well Dressed Man with a Beard”
Dedication
For Lily Hopp Kingsolver
First words
The simplest thing would be to tear it down,” the man said. ”The house is a shambles.”
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks, and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals, and have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. The magazine where Willa worked has folded; the college where her husband had tenure has closed. Their dubious shelter is also the only option for a disabled father-in-law and an exasperating, free-spirited daughter. When the family's one success story, an Ivy-educated son, is uprooted by tragedy, he seems likely to join them, with dark complications of his own. In another time, a troubled husband and public servant asks, How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting work just published by Charles Darwin. His young bride and social-climbing mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his worries that their elegant house is unsound. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town's powerful men. This is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.64)
0.5 2
1 12
1.5 3
2 27
2.5 7
3 106
3.5 65
4 163
4.5 29
5 67

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 179,888,701 books! | Top bar: Always visible