Pigs In Heaven By Barbara Kingsolver: A Book Review.

20 May

Earlier this week I finished a second book by Barbara Kingsolver, Pigs In Heaven. I loved The Bean Trees and Kingsolver’s writing so much that I just had to read more by her.

Pigs In Heaven is a follow-up to The Bean Trees. However, you don’t have to read The Bean Trees first to be able to follow the storyline of Pigs In Heaven. Here’s the synopsis of Pigs In Heaven (according to Amazon.com):

Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, leading to a man’s dramatic rescue. But Turtle’s moment of celebrity draws her into a crisis of historical proportions that will envelop not only her and her mother, Taylor, but everyone else who touched their lives in a complex web connecting their future with their past. With this wise, compelling novel, the acclaimedNew York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, and Animal Dreams vividly renders a world of heartbreak and redeeming love as she defines and defies the boundaries of family, and illuminates the many separate truths about the ties that bind us and tear us apart.

I can without a doubt say that I enjoyed Pigs In Heaven more than The Bean Trees, but honestly I think that’s because I had already gotten used to Kingsolver’s writing style and I was eager to hear more of Taylor and Turtle’s story together after first meeting them in The Bean TreesPigs In Heaven definitely didn’t disappoint.

Even though I was drawn most to the character of Taylor when I read The Bean Trees, when I read Pigs In Heaven, I connected most with Taylor’s mother, Alice. I think I connected with her most because her strength and strong belief in herself was evident through the fact that she left a marriage that she was unhappy in so that she could be there for a person who was struggling more, her daughter. Alice’s need to be there for her daughter, while also knowing that she had reached an age where she was expected to stand on her own to feet is something that really stuck with me. All teens go through those times with their parents. For me, the most notable was when I went off to boarding school. For most other teens, it’s when they go off to college. When I was first at boarding school, it was hard to adjust to not having my parents around. I remember the months before I left and how I was dying to get out of the house, but the second day I was away from them, I found myself sitting on my bed in my dorm room crying for a mom and dad who were three and a half hours away. Though I know that these feelings are normal, it’s not any easier when you realize you have to pack up and leave behind the people who have believed in you since before you were even born. How do you walk away from a love like that?

What I’ve realized, and what was discussed in Pigs In Heaven, is that even when it’s hard to leave home and go out on your own, you can still look back to your parents for guidance and support. In Pigs In Heaven Taylor relied heavily on Alice when she was in a really difficult spot, but yet Alice was the one to pull away when she realized that Taylor had to walk ahead alone with her own daughter that she loved as much as Alice loved Taylor. It was touching to see the support that Taylor and Alice had for each other, while also seeing how much they trusted that each of them would be okay. Even though I’m not a parent, I know from the standpoint of a daughter how hard it is to realize that it’s finally time to take your own responsibility for things, rather than relying on your parents. However, for me, my parents will be here to support me no matter what, and yet they’ve given me the wings that I need to fly.

I definitely, definitely recommend this book. Go read it! Now!

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13 Responses to “Pigs In Heaven By Barbara Kingsolver: A Book Review.”

  1. Anita S May 20, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    The concept of letting go can be a difficult one to grasp, and even more difficult is knowing when to let go. I haven’t read any of Kingsolver’s books, but you’ve given me reason to read this one.

    • ameliaclaire92 May 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      You definitely should. It’s a really great read. Let me know what you think.

  2. Ryan Davis May 20, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    I want to read!! wish I can soon ! I have settled in another city and working do not get time but I keep following your blog! 🙂

    • ameliaclaire92 May 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      Which city? I hope you can have time to read soon. It really is wonderful. 🙂

      • Ryan Davis May 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

        the city ? its new delhi……….India………. reading is heavenly

      • ameliaclaire92 May 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

        Oh wow. Sounds great! 🙂

      • Ryan Davis May 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

        🙂 not so great though.

      • ameliaclaire92 May 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

        Oh. Bummer. 😦

      • Ryan Davis May 27, 2012 at 10:31 am #

        but still lots of subject to do poetry upon, here. 😀

      • ameliaclaire92 May 27, 2012 at 11:50 am #

        Definitely a plus! 🙂

  3. belasbrightideas May 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Haha Amelia – I knew you couldn’t resist. The two books really do go together! Have a great week.

    • ameliaclaire92 May 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      I’ll be starting Prodigal Summer once I finish the Nicholas Sparks book that currently has my heart!

      • belasbrightideas May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

        It’s also a good read. I didn’t really get into High Tide in Tucson, fyi. But you might.

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