Monday, April 26, 2010

Not quite Heaven

Pigs in Heaven
Barbara Kingsolver

I just couldn't get into this continuation of Taylor and Turtle's story despite how much I loved meeting them in The Bean Trees. Pigs in Heaven catches up with the ladies three years after the close of the last book. They are happy and living in Tuscon but when they take a trip to Hoover Dam their lives change. The Cherokee Nation learns of Taylor's not-quite-legal adoption of Turtle and cites the Indian Child Welfare Act to request her be returned to the tribe, sending Taylor into a panic. Taylor must choose between giving up the daughter she loves and knowing that she can't provide Turtle with the culture she is entitled to.

Pigs in Heaven lacked the charm and heart that The Bean Trees had; I understand that Taylor didn't want to lose Turtle but her actions just didn't jibe with the headstrong and independent personality that was developed in the first book, her actions definitely weren't in the best interest for Turtle, and it was a bit melodramatic for me. I wasn't really a fan of Jax or Annawake either, I just couldn't relate to them very much; Jax was borderline weird and I'm totally not into the emotional, insecure, musician types and Annawake viewed things as black or white but she got better as the story went on. The best characters were definitely Cash and Alice, two older people who had lived through their share of heartaches and we're even aware their lives were missing something.

Overall, if you really like The Bean Trees it might just be best to stop when you're ahead.

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