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2016 Vineland Meet Willa Knox, a woman who stands braced against an upended world that seems to hold no mercy for her shattered life and family – or the crumbling house that contains her.
1871 Vineland Thatcher Greenwood, the new science teacher, is a fervent advocate of the work of Charles Darwin, and he is keen to communicate his ideas to his students. But those in power in Thatcher’s small town have no desire for a new world order. Thatcher and his teachings are not welcome.
Both Willa and Thatcher resist the prevailing logic. Both are asked to pay a high price for their courage. But both also find inspiration – and an unlikely kindred spirit – in Mary Treat, a scientist, adventurer and anachronism.
A testament to both the resilience and persistent myopia of the human condition, Unsheltered explores the foundations we build in life, spanning time and place to give us all a clearer look at those around us, and perhaps ourselves. It is a novel that speaks truly to our times.
’As always, Kingsolver gives readers plenty to think about. Her warm humanism coupled with an unabashed point of view make her a fine 21st-century exponent of the honourable tradition of politically engaged fiction.’ – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
’A truly marvellous book … Kingsolver has always had a singular ability to weave history, science and storytelling into a seamless and compelling whole … What is wonderful about Kingsolver’s work is her ability to convey optimism in even the most difficult situations – without ever sugar-coating anything … Kingsolver is a writer to treasure, to read and reread: she sees the world as it is, but believes, always, in the possibility of change.’ – Erica Wagner, Harpers Bazaar
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