Barbara Kingsolver,
Pigs in Heaven
(Diane, 1993; HarperTorch, 1999)

I read Pigs in Heaven after loving The Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer. Only after finishing it did I learn it was a sequel to Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees. I enjoyed it as a stand-alone work, so now I'm interested to go and get the backstory. They certainly don't need to be read in sequence to be meaningful, though.

Kingsolver amazes me with her diverse settings and topics. The first two novels I read were set in Africa and Appalachia, respectively. Here is yet another setting -- the southwest, and yet another culture -- Native American. She doesn't repeat themes or settings as an author, and I admire her for that.

The story is told so well that I mimicked all the emotions of the main character, Taylor. She and I both came to trust one character in the story, and when she betrayed Turtle and Taylor, my heart was ripped right out along with Taylor's.

This book has cemented Kingsolver as one of my favorite authors, and I look forward to exploring more of her works.

by Jessica Lux-Baumann
1 April 2006

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