Teresa's Reviews > Pigs in Heaven

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
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Apr 12, 12

bookshelves: current-fiction
Read from April 05 to 12, 2012

THREE YEARS AGO AS TAYLOR GREER SAT IN HER CAR IN A PARKING LOT SHE WAS APPROACHED BY A WOMAN WHO THRUST A YOUNG CHILD AT HER AND TOLD HER THAT THE CHILD'S MOTHER WAS DEAD AND TOLD TAYLOR TO TAKE HER AND THEN THE STRANGER SIMPLY WALKED AWAY. THE CHILD WAS COVERED WITH BRUISES AND WOULDN'T SPEAK.
OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT YEARS TAYLOR ADOPTS THE CHILD AND SETS ABOUT HEALING HER PHYSICAL AND MENTAL SCARS AS BEST SHE CAN. NOW A FREAK OCCURRENCE HAS PUT THE TWO OF THEM AND THEIR STORY IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT. ONE OF THOSE WHO SEES THEM ON TELEVISION IS A YOUNG ATTORNEY WHO HAPPENS TO BE A MEMBER OF THE CHEROKEE TRIBE. SHE RECOGNIZES THAT THE YOUNG CHILD IS ALSO A CHEROKEE. AMERICAN INDIAN TRIBES HAVE VERY SPECIFIC LAWS IN PLACE TO KEEP THEIR CHILDREN FROM BEING TAKEN AND RAISED BY WHITES WHERE THEY LOSE THEIR EXTENDED FAMILIES AND THE TRADITIONS AND THE HERITAGE THEY WERE BORN TO.
WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE GRIPPING QUESTION OF WHETHER IT IS RIGHT TO TAKE THIS CHILD WHO DOESN'T KNOW ANY MOTHER BUT THE ONE WHO HAS LOVED HER AND RAISED HER FOR MOST OF HER LIFE AND RETURN HER TO HER OWN PEOPLE. THE MOTHER IS DETERMINED TO DO WHATEVER SHE HAS TO DO TO KEEP HER DAUGHTER AND PROTECT HER FROM ANYTHING THAT MIGHT UPSET THE FRAGILE MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL STABILITY SHE HAS GIVEN HER.
THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK THAT PROVES THAT SOMETIMES THE QUESTIONS OF RIGHT/WRONG AND FAIR/UNFAIR ARE NOT EASY ONES TO ANSWER. INCLUDES FASCINATING DESCRIPTIONS OF TRIBAL RITUALS AND FAMILY CONNECTIONS.
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