“Kingsolver brilliantly captures both the price of profound change and how it can pave the way not only for future generations, but also for a radiant, unexpected expansion of the heart.”



This novel tells the story of a house literally falling apart by telling the story of two owners, one in the present, Willa Knox and her family and the other in the past, a schoolteacher and amateur scientist named Thatcher Greenwood and his wife and mother in law.

The Knox family is falling on hard times. The son has just become a father for the first time when his wife commits suicide, forcing him to,return to the household of his family. Unfortunately, the Knox family problems are multiplying rapidly because the home they inherited and live in is actually falling apart because it was poorly constructed, and they don’t have the money it would take to adequately repair it.

Willa Knox is attempting to raise funds from the local historical preservation society by claiming the home may have been owned by a female scientist named Mary Treat who was so highly regarded that she actually corresponded with Charles Darwin. Here is where we learn of the Greenwood’s who originally owned the house. The story goes back and forth until the fate of the house is decided.

It doesn’t sound like a very interesting story, and in truth, at many times the story drags along and you are wondering what is the purpose of all this? But the author is a terrific writer and the parts about the Knox family and their woes is very good. Upon reading the acknowledge page at the end of the book and learning the Mary Treat actually lived and most of her story in the book is true puts this book in another light.

While, in my opinion, not nearly as interesting as her last two efforts, fans of the author will probably like the book. For others it might not be their cup of tea.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 2nd February 2019

More Reviews By
Richard Franco