The Lacuna/Barbara Kingsolver

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ruta Rimas sent me a copy of Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna for Christmas, and it's been sitting over there, on the chair of unread books, ever since—gold and heavy-weighted.

This morning I rose to a desk full of work, glanced at the book chair and said to myself, "Well, who is going to notice, really, if you spend an hour of this morning reading?"

So that's all I've done—spent an hour reading The Lacuna—and may I just say that if nothing else wonderful happens in this story (and I doubt that will be the case), the first 28 pages contain Kingsolver's best writing ever, anywhere, as far as I can tell. This book takes place in Mexico, a country I've visited just twice (Juarez first, San Miguel de Allende, where I took this photo, second). I can now say that I've gone to Mexico thrice.

Read this:

Salome put on the new frock, painted a bow on her mouth, took her son by the arm and walked to town. They smelled the zocalo first: roasted vanilla beans, coconut milk candies, boiled coffee. The square was packed with couples walking entwined, their arms snaking around one another like the vines that strangle tree trunks. The girls wore striped wool skirts, lace blouses, and their narrow-waisted boyfriends. The mood of the fiesta was enclosed in a perfect square: four long lines of electric bulbs strung from posts at the corners, fencing out a bright piece of night just above everyone's heads.

I've been there. I've seen that.

10 comments:

kristen spina said...

Wow. That is beautifully written. I've been there too, spent a summer or two in Mexico City. And yes, it is exactly like that.

Beth F said...

Wow! beautiful. I am almost ashamed to say that I've never read Kingsolver. Always meant to...

bermudaonion said...

I'm a big Kingsolver fan, so I'm really excited about this book.

Diane said...

So great to hear these positive comments on The Lacuna. I am looking forward to this one a lot.

Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing this - I have been hearing mixed reviews on this latest by Kingsolver and I have the novel on my bedside table waiting to be read (I'm currently reading Byatt's amazing novel The Children's Book). I'm now looking forward to having The Lacuna be my next read :)

javier said...

I lost my heart in San Miguel de Allende. I have traveled by car all over Mexico for the past 12 years. Always thinking where would I like to live. When I came to San Miguel de Allende it was only to be for a week, but we couldn't bear to leave. We found a place to rent and packed everything from our house near Colima and moved, lock, stock and barrel to San Miguel de Allende. I have read all of Barbara Kingsolver's books. I can't wait to read this one.
Kelly Garcia
www.whatshotinsanmiguel.com

Lilian Nattel said...

I'm waiting for Lacuna. I have it on hold at the library.

Sarah Laurence said...

I agree that the opening of Lacuna was stunningly beautiful. Browsing through those pages was what made me buy the book. Sadly the rest of The Lacuna, when the POV switched to a journal, was a disappointment, especially the USA section. It doesn’t sound like a teenaged boy’s voice at all, and the plot was all over the place. The biographer notes sounded contrived. I gave up reading past halfway through when I read a review which said that the final section was the weakest part. I read and loved all of Kingsolver’s other novels and she’s one of my favorite authors so The Lacuna was a big disappointment.

I’ll be curious to hear your reaction once you’ve finished. I sold The Lacuna at our independent bookstore and bought a YA I think you’d love: The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau. I’ve only read a few chapters, but they were wonderful.

septembermom said...

That is really beautiful. I feel like I'm there too. Great imagery. I'm excited to get this book.

Kelly H-Y said...

WOW ... her best writing ever?! That's a wonderful testament to her new book! Can't wait to read it!

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP