Sarah's Reviews > The Lacuna

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
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's review
May 18, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012-reads, travel, women-authors, latin-america
Read from April 11 to 18, 2012

I really lost interest at the end of the book.

While the mexican part with Frida and Diego were colorful in parts, I was tired of his subservience to Frida and to her nasty behaviour. Surely she was more charming than this character portrayed in this book. But I love Mexico and that era is not often written about. I had read Kingsolver's book on the mine strike in Arizona so I know she had labor sympathies so I was happy to read her take on it but it also seemed really shallow and not very nuanced.

But I lost attention and faith with the second half of the book once it moved to Asheville. The whole Red Scare McCarthy era did not intrigue me. Harrison Shephard seemed so naive and stupid to assume that he would get a fair treatment by the US Government despite the fact that everyone warned him. He himself had seen what the media did to Trotsky. I don't know, maybe I was just tired because it seemed so obvious that she was trying to make a point about Fox News and the media. And I hated the voice of Mrs. Brown.

And the homosexuality was TOO understated. I didn't get that this guy Tommy was supposed to be his lover until near the end of the book. Was all that manic 50s slang supposed to be her attempt at making him outragiously over the top gay? And was there supposed to be some message that the thing he had been hiding his whole life (his homosexuality) was somehow less shameful than his association with Communists? I don't know. I didn't care by the end of the book.

Its a disappointment. I loved Kingsolver's earlier books. But this was maybe too political. I like her better when she stays in the personal.

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Reading Progress

04/14/2012 page 350
69.0% "Its okay - not as good as some of her other ones."
04/15/2012 page 545
100.0% "Missing Mexico as we're stuck in McCarthy era North Carolina. Too similar to present day South Carolina for my tastes."

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