Friday, June 5, 2015

"The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver

Although this book took me nearly 3 months to finish reading it, I really did enjoy it. It was quite a thick book and didn't often fit into my work bag, and as most of the reading I've been getting time for is on the bus to and from work lately this meant it took a lot longer than it should have to read this book.

It is an historical novel (my favourite genre), set mostly in Mexico (and partly in USA) during the 1930s-1950s. Although the main character, Harrison Shepherd, is completely fictional, there are plenty of other interesting real life characters woven into the story - for example the famous artist Frida Kahlo and the exiled Bolshevik leader Trotsky. The story is mostly in the form of a series of diary notebooks written by Harrison depicting his life and his interpretation of life and politics surrounding him, from childhood to the 1950s. Harrison writes well, really capturing what is going on around him, and I was fascinated especially by the sections of the book set in Mexico. I didn't know a lot of Trotsky and his exile in Mexico, but I was a little bit familiar with some of Frida Kahlo's self portraits, and Mexico is definitely on my travel bucket list. I was less interested in a section in the second half of the story that dealt with the era of Communist hunting in USA, and the series of reviews and fan mail letters associated with the novels that Harrison writes while living in the USA. I really did enjoy the book overall though, and it did capture some interesting people, places and events in history that I didnt know a lot about. If I had been reading this on my kindle I'm sure I would have finished reading this book in less than a month. 

Started reading: 5th June 2015
Finished: 30th August 2015
My score: 8/10

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