Kim's Reviews > Pigs in Heaven

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
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's review
Dec 31, 2011

did not like it
Read in November, 2011

I love Barbara Kingsolver, but this book was awful. Every character who passed through the pages was there to reinforce the "white man selfish" "Cherokee poor, but very love family" stereotype that the book beat you over the head with, page after page. The white guy the protagonist has a date with brings one apple on a picnic for three. The teenage Cherokee boy shows off the fish he's just caught to his grandmother and asks her to choose some - "a teenager showing love for his grandmother, shocking!" thinks the narrator, all bowled over with amazement. Please, I wanted to vomit on every page. There are 2 decent white guys in this book: they're both in wheelchairs. Apparently, if you want to be saved from the curse and stigma of being white, you just need to acquire a handicap that requires a wheelchair. The book was painful to read and I only finished it so that I could give an informed criticism. Very disappointing from the woman who is still my favorite author.
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07/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Ange I find this a surprising comment, especially given that Taylor and Alice were decent " white guys" who had cared for Turtle, also Jax.

Steve I agree Ange. I feel like I read a completely diferent book

Sandra Wow . . . sounds like this book triggered some defensiveness, but yeah, I read a different book. I didn't feel like Kingsolver was white-bashing, but trying to see all perspectives. I felt that she succeeded.

message 4: by Gua (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gua Who was in a wheelchair besides Steven Kant? I'm drawing a blank! I was also very disappointed in this book, "The Bean Trees" is one of my favorites and I loved Taylor, but she turned bitchy in Pigs in Heaven.

Steve Bitchy? How?

message 6: by Gua (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gua Maybe snotty would have been a better word, she just seemed to range from snippy to just plain mean (like when she told Jax she never really needed him) in much of the book.

message 7: by Zahara (new) - added it

Zahara Think you are being overly-sensitive. I read the book, and it wasn't white bashing. Even if it were, do you think it would be a small price to pay for European settlers encroaching upon Native American land?

Jeanne Mixon I also found the characters annoying. Taylor seemed unhinged. Annawake seemed vicious and kind of clueless. And the plan to save the family was just stupid. I was very disappointed in the book. It just seemed both over the top and paint by the numbers somehow. The only character that came close to interesting was Jax and maybe Gundi. I found myself wishing the book was entirely different and just about them. At least they didn't seem as predictable as everyone else.

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