Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

I recently finished this book and really enjoyed it. I am a fan of Barbara Kingsolver and have read several of her books. This was probably one of my favorites, but it may be because Frida Khalo is one of the main characters and I have always been in awe of her.

The story is about a man by the name of Harrison Shepherd who's mother is from Mexico and father from the U.S. The book spans his life from a small boy to his death and is told mostly in the form of his journals that he keeps. In his earlier years he comes across Diego Rivera and becomes one of his plaster mixers but eventually becomes Frida's cook and friend. The character Harrison is a very beautiful writer which makes his life story interesting and eloquent but my favorite parts are the insights on what the day to day life of Frida and Diego may have looked like. The whole book looks at the world of art, culture and politics of both countries during the thirties into world war II. It is an in depth study of how the U.S. and Mexico viewed life during this turbulent time through Harrisons eyes. Throughout his life he moves back and forth several times between the two countries discovering how he is similar and separate from both cultures. The story and his life are filled with beauty, tragedy and the personal struggle to find a place to call home.

I definitely would recommend this book. It is a very personal and poetic experience.

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