Man, do I love a good book. I haven’t been hitting the fiction very hard lately–I always wonder at the ebb and flow and general chaos of my reading tendencies–but I feel myself headed back down some excellent fiction roads.
Every now and again, fiction is the quickest way to my heart. I used to wonder about folks talking about great literature like it could save the world. I don’t wonder any more. A powerful book, or any powerful work of art I suppose, can take you places that no amount of eye-level logic or intellectual activity can. Somehow a direct catheter to the heart is opened up with the beautifully rendered word. Fiction, or fiction-like memoir, can do this like no other.
The Bean Trees was a gift. It sat on my shelf for six weeks before I even picked it up. How tragic that I could overlook it for so long. How hopeful that such treasures lie just under our noses.
Here’s my boring Goodreads review. Just because…
First of all, Kingsolver is a tremendous writer. Just gorgeous prose. A heart-wrenching and hilarious story of life in all its ugliness and life in all its beauty. Warm and wonderful characters, vivid settings, striking plotlines, the whole ball of wax. I couldn’t walk away.
It never ceases to amaze me that when I read a book that feels like it was written today, for today, when it was not. The Bean Trees is only thirty-some years old, so it’s not like we’re talking about a totally different world, but truly, we are talking about a totally different world. The eighties are, in many ways, light years away. Yet so much never changes. Our struggles remain the same. As a people, as a country, as humans.
I’ve never read Barbara Kingsolver before; I had no idea what I was missing. I can’t wait for more.