Unsheltered: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

Reviewed by Teri Davis

UnshelteredA single run-down home is what combines two families about one-hundred years apart. Unfortunately, the house is in poor condition for both families. Part of the house with water for the kitchen and bathroom appears to be leaning in mid-air no foundation under this addition. Fortunately, the other part seems somewhat more substantial.

Willa Knox finds that her plans for this stage in her life as she planned. By now, she had expected herself to be a successfully published author and her husband, Iano being comfortably tenured at a college or university. Instead, Willa finds herself jobless with no prospects and her husband as an adjunct professor at a college with the two barely able to make ends meet. She believes her son is successful in life with career and family and her daughter, Tig, is just hopeless.

One-hundred years ago, Thatcher Greenwood moved into the house along with his wife and of course, his mother-in-law. Both are disappointed in Thatcher. They both expect to lead a high-class and wealthy lifestyle which could be difficult on a science teacher’s salary. Thatcher chooses to teach evolution in his classroom based on Darwin’s recent discoveries. Along with his neighbor, the two continue
It does seem strange with both families suffer from the uncertainty of the future, both with worry about the house, feeling of the insecurity of becoming unsheltered is a fear.

Could there be something good about feeling unsheltered?

Barbara Kingsolver has written a beautiful story about two very different families each marching to an uncertain future. Unshelved requires each one of us to think and reflect on our own choices, luck, achievements, in determining our personal and unique destiny.

The characterization is outstanding. You see a little of yourself in each character, whether good and evil or perhaps both.

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of many bestselling novels, including The Poisonwood Bible. She has won numerous awards for her writing throughout the years. She resides on her family farm in southern Appalachia.

Unsheltered is unquestionably one of Kingsolver’s woven and intricate stories. The story takes a little time to read since you need to reflect along with the characters as the plot develops along two-time lines.

Unsheltered is one of Kingsolver’s best novels. This is as good as her novel The Poisonwood Bible. This is for all readers, young and old, with a preference for those who are grandparents, especially women.

Unsheltered is one book that I personally will always feel as a precious memory.