The Lacuna

Barbara Kingsolver

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The Lacuna

The Lacuna The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man s search for safety of a man torn beween the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of s McCarthyite America Born in the U S and reared in Mexico

  • Title: The Lacuna
  • Author: Barbara Kingsolver
  • ISBN: 9780571252633
  • Page: 466
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man s search for safety of a man torn beween the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s McCarthyite America.Born in the U.S and reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social climbing flapper mother, Salom Making himself useful in the household of the famed Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida KaThe Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man s search for safety of a man torn beween the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s McCarthyite America.Born in the U.S and reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social climbing flapper mother, Salom Making himself useful in the household of the famed Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and exiled Bolshevik leader Lev Trotsky, young Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution A violent upheaval sends him north to a nation newly caught up in World War II In the mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina he remakes himself in America s hopeful image But political winds continue to throw him between north and south, in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach the lacuna between truth and public presumption.A gripping story of identity, loyalty and the devastating power of accusations to destroy innocent people The Lacuna is as deep and rich as the New World.

    • Free Read [Biography Book] × The Lacuna - by Barbara Kingsolver ↠
      466 Barbara Kingsolver
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      Posted by:Barbara Kingsolver
      Published :2020-01-01T12:55:34+00:00

    One thought on “The Lacuna

    1. Lisa on said:

      I hated this book. I couldn't even finish it. I started it and had so much trouble reading it that I put it down and didn't even want to pick it back up. Curious, I went to to see what other people had said about it. Surprisingly, a lot of people loved it. A couple of people couldn't finish it, but the majority gave it good reviews. So I thought I'd give it another try. Ugh. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out its appeal!!I just Googled it and found a NPR review that made me feel much bet [...]

    2. Will Byrnes on said:

      The Lacuna is really two books. One, the latter, is quite engaging, with a well-written historical perspective, emotional content, a bit of action. The other is an overlong back story, very light on involvement, written as if the author was watching the events and characters from behind a cloud. Considering that the stable of characters includes Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, it takes some effort to make them dull.The Lacuna is Kingsolver’s attempt at a grand historical novel. She begins in 192 [...]

    3. Sath on said:

      The story is told as the collected journals of Harrison Shepherd, put together after his death by his secretary and friend Violet Brown. Beginning with his childhood, (just before WorldWar2), as his mexican mother leaves his american father and takes him with her back to mexico. Harrison writes his journals because he can't help but write, like other people cannot help breathing, he is destined to become an author one day.Harrison's childhood is surreally beautiful, the problems of his chain-smo [...]

    4. Alex on said:

      Placed in context with Kingsolver's other books this is essentially worthless. She turns Freida Kahlo into the most magical pixie dream girl ever and gives us a main character so thoroughly desexed and generally grey that one sort of imagines him as a Ken doll, completely generic and non-threating in every possible way. And I KNOW that's sort of the point of the main character, but still, he is pretty much one of the least enjoyable protagonists I've ever read since all you do is spend time with [...]

    5. Saleh MoonWalker on said:

      Onvan : The Lacuna - Nevisande : Barbara Kingsolver - ISBN : 60852577 - ISBN13 : 9780060852573 - Dar 508 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2009

    6. Julie Suzanne on said:

      I had the privilege of listening to Kingsolver read this aloud as well as reading the printI love her. Her voice and her style of narration, her perfectly articulated words and sounds all captivated me instantly. Hearing V.B.'s voice as Kingsolver intended it is what made me want to just hug Violet Brown. The characters were so lovable (even though I'd never want to hang out with Harrison or Violet in real life, but Trotsky definitely).I have heard people say that this book had a political agend [...]

    7. Bridget on said:

      Yep, Barbara Kingsolver does it again, with a book that almost demands that you keep reading. This is the story of Harrison William Shepherd, the son of a Mexican mother, and an American father. The father is indifferent to the boy, and his mother longs for romance and adventure, so she returns to Mexico with the boy.The book is written as if it is a diary or journal of Harrison's life from his earliest memories. He details his life in Mexico, where through a series of events, he becomes the coo [...]

    8. Patty on said:

      I don't give a book the 5 stars without much consideration. This author's beautiful language and the things she taught me make Lacuna very special to me.I found myself in the bright and colorful world of Frida Kahlo's Mexico, and the gloomy sphere of the iron curtain and our country's disturbing consequences of McCarthyism. A real work of art that took me away from my cozy home.It's not a quick read or one you can put down without considering all the circumstances of all the main characters. Hop [...]

    9. Nicole on said:

      About a week before I started reading Lacuna, my friend asked me when I thought Barbara Kingsolver was going to write a gay character. Little did we knowThe fascinating part of Shepherd's homosexuality, of his entire character really, is how it is revealed. Slowly, carefully, the way we had to peel away the thinest possible onion skins to put on slides in my 6th grade science class. Most of this story is told through Shepherd's journal entries, entries in which the pronoun "I" is notably lacking [...]

    10. Jeanette"Astute Crabbist" on said:

      3 1/2 starsThe two sections of this book are different enough that it could almost be reviewed as two separate books. They really are THAT different.First 275 pages or so = 4 starsFinal 230 pages or so = 2 stars Kingsolver is at the peak of her descriptive powers in the first part of the book. Her bright, lively detailing of Harrison's early life in Mexico compensates for the patchiness of the narration. Add to that the real characters of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Lev (Leon) Trotsky, and it [...]

    11. Karen on said:

      The only disappointing thing about this book was that I finished it, and have no new Kingsolver books to look forward to. As always, her writing is exquisite. I found myself re-reading parts just to savor her use of language.The Lacuna is a novel based on real events in history--the Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and the period in the 1930's when Trotsky was exiled in Mexico. I learned a lot while enjoying a good story, not really sure where it was heading--but oh! does it come tog [...]

    12. MK Brunskill-Cowen on said:

      Is there anyone who writes with such beauty as Barbara Kingsolver? She has an ability to transform the reader from reading on a dreary porch to Isla Pixol, Mexico of the 1930s to Asheville, North Carolina of the 1940s. To transform someone from a beloved novelist to a scourge to be abhorred overnight. The Lacuna is about Harrison Shepherd, son of a Mexican woman and a US government official, who belonged to both countries, yet not to either of them. He wound up working for Diego Rivera and Frida [...]

    13. Aylin on said:

      I really liked the first part (roughly half) of this book about a boy (Harrison)who is being raised by a mother who eeks out an existence by sponging off the men she manages to ensnare. The setting is 1930's Mexico. Mexican artists Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo are an integral part of the story, as is Lev Trotsky (leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and Rivera's friend and houseguest). The second half of the book completely switches gears. The setting is Asheville NC where Harrison is liv [...]

    14. Brian on said:

      Kingsolver's best book since The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna is the story of a diffident, unassuming man who is thrust unwillingly onto the centre stage of history. Harrison Shepherd, is born in America but raised in Mexico by his half American, half Mexican mother, a woman who is temperamentally discontented with her position in society and is always seeking to improve it through a series of affairs with married men. As a youth, Harrison becomes involved with the painters Diego Rivera and Frid [...]

    15. Candace on said:

      This is quite the novel, as full and satisfying as anything I've read in some time. Its picture of Mexico in the 30's is spot on, and the characters of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Lev Trotsky feel fresh and sharp. The political correctness which bored me in Barbara Kingsolver's novels seem naive has developed--she's showing, not preaching. A wonderful read by an author who is at her best.

    16. salinthebay on said:

      Over the past 15 years, I have read most of Kingsolver. But, The Lacuna was a huge disappointment for me; I had a hard time finishing it. But, out of respect for her 15 years of research, I slogged through it. Recently, I checked out her NPR review as suggested by other Goodread reviewers. Most loved it but a few discerning folks also had a problem Voila! NPR stated, "Lacuna refers to a gap or something that's absent. The motif of the crucial missing piece runs throughout the novel, but the thin [...]

    17. Margitte on said:

      For some or other reason, being a staunch admirer of Barbara Kingsolver's books, I just could not connect with this one anywhere. Do I blame the author? No. We, the book and I, just did not gel and that's it.What I appreciated:1) Historical background of Mexican history going back thousands of years, and American society between 1900 and more or less 1955: brilliant with enough detail to last a lifetime.2) The characters: The protagonist as introduced by Violet Brown, his personal assistant and [...]

    18. Krista on said:

      I tried & tried & tried to like this bookI am a huge Kingsolver fan so I expected it would grow into something wonderful. I liked the beginning, but once the main character was shipped off to the US, I lost total interest. I was already a little irritated by the disjointed, journal style but was enjoying the character's adventures in Mexico. But when he ended up in the US with his weird father & unpleasant characters, I forced myself to finish the first 100 pages & then stopped t [...]

    19. Michael on said:

      This is a great read that satisfies on several levels. A key pleasure is Kingsolver's prose, which shines as we would expect from her track record of essays and novels about rural folks in Appalachia and the Southwest. It also satisfies as a coming of age tale of a half-Mexican, half-American boy, Harrison Shepherd, raised by his mother on an island near Vera Cruz and later transferred to the care of his father, who dumps him in a boarding school in Washington, DC. Shepherd seeks solace from his [...]

    20. Jennifer on said:

      This one is so close to being 5 stars. It's got the scope and ambition of The Poisonwood Bible, but with the butterfly touch of her breezier novels. Ranging from the 1930s Mexico of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and (exiled) Lev Trotsky to the 1950s America of J. Edgar Hoover, this book uses an epic backdrop to tell the story of one solitary, forgotten man. The dozen or so different formats (including journals, book reviews, letters, newspaper articles, and transcripts) are deftly handled and perfe [...]

    21. thewanderingjew on said:

      This book is a powerful exposé of our country’s experiences and eventual recovery from the time of the depression until after World War II, up to and including the McCarthy era. The reminder of the world’s decay and the violent politics of that time made me shudder as I read it. The book traces the life of a fictitious person, Harrison Shepherd, a rather lost soul, born in the United States of an American father, a government worker, and a Mexican mother of rather loose morals. He is shuttl [...]

    22. Ann on said:

      Every night while I was reading this book, I dreamt of its characters. I enjoyed the leisurely first part, but when Kingsolver plunged into the Diego Rivera/Frida Kahlo/Lev Trotsky section, I plunged deeper with her. And by the time the protagonist is writing books, receiving adulation and criticism in his homeland, I was reading the book on at least three levels: 1) paying attention to the protagonist's actions and reactions, 2)reviewing what I know of American history and culture from 1930-195 [...]

    23. B the BookAddict on said:

      Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Mexico, Leo Trotsky, Committee on Unamerican Activities: The Lacuna is a wealth of information on these topics. But it's outstanding feature is it's narrator, Harrison Shepherd; Mexican/American, cook, sometime secretary, novelist and gay. Kingsolver's wonderful telling of his tale and those whose lives cross his path is insightful, humorous and full of pathos. I was, by turn, amused then saddened by his story; Harrison may have been a fictional character but many live [...]

    24. Nandakishore Varma on said:

      This is my first and so far, only book by Barbara Kingsolver. She writes beautifully, and I loved this strange story of a fictional gay man caught up in the real life struggles of Frieda Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky - also the scathing indictment of McCarthyism in the final part. The story feels strangely incomplete, yet the final, unexpected twist was exquisite.I am determined to read more of this author's books.

    25. Jan Rice on said:

      This book had some amazing segments. I listened on audio and am going to have to buy a hard copy just for some of the quotes and observations. But even though it was wonderfully read by the author, it went on too long. I thought it would never end. Therefore it's hard for me to recommend it.

    26. Carmen on said:

      While I thoroughly enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible I have huge problems with this book. Even though the book is fiction there are historical facts that have been included and it is indeed terrible when she makes so many mistakes. On page 56, she talks about the one fifth booty part that Cortes was to send to the Extremely Catholic Majesty the Queen. When this Queen, Isabel La Catolica, died in 1504, Cortes did not arrive in Mexico before 1519 and he wrote to and shared the booty with Carlos V The E [...]

    27. Gini on said:

      I saw a review of this book on television that made me buy it the next day. I'd not read Kingsolver before, but the first part of the story took place in Mexico, in the homes of Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera and Trotsky-- and I've been to those houses several times and was looking forward to reading about the people who had lived in them. I enjoyed the first half of the book very much, but the second half -- after so much color and action -- fell flat. Most of the story unfolded as rather obvious co [...]

    28. Debbie on said:

      Very difficult book to get into. Barbara Kingsolver is an excellent and articulate writer, but there was just too much information and I found it all so boring at first. I had a hard time imagining this fictional character having a place in these actual historical events. It was a bit like Forrest Gump. Around 75% into the book it really picked up and came together. The ending was poignant and I really liked how all that information came together! The historical accuracy was impressive (and quit [...]

    29. Sally Howes on said:

      I just finished this book and I'm almost speechless with emotion and awe. Review will be coming soon, but for now, I just want to shout from the rooftops: EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!

    30. Connie on said:

      "The Lacuna" has an interesting title signifying a gap, something missing, something you don't know--a theme that runs through the novel. Living in both the United States and Mexico as a child, Harrison Shepherd has been neglected by his parents and doesn't truly feel at home in either country. He learned to cook and bake by helping a servant in his residence in Mexico. It was a twist of fate that he was viewing the murals of Diego Rivera on a day when the artist needed another boy to help mix p [...]

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