Barbara Kingsolver has done it again. Deprived me of sleep with her book The Lacuna. Seriously, I stayed UP way to late reading it, I could not stop.
A Lacuna is simply a gap. Not the store, but a real gap in time, in space, in the earth.
Set in Mexico and Asheville, NC, this novel covers the life of a fictional fiction writer named Harrison Shepherd.
American by birth, his Mexican mother takes him to Mexico after leaving her husband. Harrison takes the reader with him though history, drama, and love…of sorts. Along the way we get to meet Diego Garcia and Frida Kahlo, Trotsky and more. Garcia and Kahlo were “active” communists, what ever that means. In reality, they were lousy communists; seriously, they were really bad at it. Maids, drivers, cooks, servants, lots of money, fame, they were rock stars avowing communism and living a life of luxury. This, of course, is not Ms. Kingsolver’s point, but she makes it nonetheless!
Harrison says in the book, “The most important thing about a person is the thing you don’t know.” And that’s so true. Not only in the book, but in life as well.
I’m a big Barbara Kingsolver fan, I’ve read most of her published work.
The Lacuna takes you from the early part of the 20th century through the McCarthyism of the 1950s. She paints a picture of the characters, both real and fictional, as if she had watched them surreptitiously. You, the reader, along with Ms. Kingsolver are the proverbial fly on the wall. Ms Kingsolver isn’t subtle. Her points are well taken, and her beliefs transparent. She doesn’t shy away from controversy.
But she can really, really write a great novel. And this is a beautiful read.
It’s a must read!