Pigs in Heaven

By: Barbara Kingsolver
The Bean Trees Book 2
1993
Fiction
Rating: 4/5

Pigs In Heaven book cover

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Barbara Kingsolver is a genius.

Pigs in Heaven is the follow up to Kingsolver’s book¬†The Bean Trees. It follows Taylor Greer and her adopted daughter Turtle, three years after the first novel. They’re living in Tuscon with Taylor’s boyfriend Jax until they land themselves on national television.

Annawake Fourkiller, a Cherokee lawyer from Oklahoma, sees them on Oprah, and the aftermath of this impersonal introduction is the crux of the entire novel.

It all comes down to a custody battle, essentially, between the Cherokee Nation and Taylor. The problem with this novel is that you can’t really root for either side. There is no good answer. Of course you want Turtle to be with Taylor. Even if you only read the first two pages of this book, you know Turtle needs to be with Taylor. But¬†Kingsolver draws you into a dilemma that’s no so cut and dry.

This book is hard and heartwarming and desperate. It drifts a little from Kingsolver’s streak of environmentalism, but the strong presence of Cherokee heritage will keep Kingsolver fans feeling at home.

If you haven’t read The Bean Trees, I highly suggest you start there. This novel could stand alone, but you’ll be so much more invested.

The end of this book left me desperately wishing for a third. Desperately.

 

*****

 

If you love Kingsolver as much as I do, here are some suggestions:

(for books about culture clash)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

(for more by Kingsolver)

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

(for books about Indians)

The Truth About Stories by Thomas King

 

Coming up:

Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

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