in Heaven : A Novel
- 436 pages (October 1999)
"Possessed of an extravagantly gifted narrative voice, Kingsolver
blends a fierce and abiding moral vision with benevolent concise
humor. Her medicine is meant for the head, the heart and the
"We don't think of ourselves as having extended families.
We look at you guys and think you have contracted families."
- Annawake Fourkiller in Pigs in Heaven
Women on their own run in Alice's family. So thinks Alice
Greer, sixty-one years old, as she is about to leave her second
husband, Harland; and the novel appears to offer no argument
against this. She, her daughter Taylor, and Taylor's informally
adopted daughter, Turtle, all seem fated to lives uncomplicated
by relationships with men. But simplicity is gone forever
when Taylor and Turtle (who is Cherokee) appear on TV by a
coincidence of fate, and come to the attention of Annawake
Fourkiller, a lawyer for the Cherokee nation. Taylor finds
herself in a conflict between her own and what she thinks
of as Turtle's best interests, and those of the tribe. Citing
the Indian Welfare Act, which states that all adoptions of
Native American children must be authorized by their tribes,
Annawake detrmines to try to invalidate Turtle's adoption.
Meanwhile, fearing that she will lose her daughter, Taylor
takes Turtle and flees Arizona, leaving behind her devoted
boyfriend, Jax. Along the way to resolution of this seemingly
irresolvable conflict, many lives are changed.
June 27, 1993
And Baby Makes Two
By KAREN KARBO
Barbara Kingsolver's terrific new novel, "Pigs in Heaven," picks up where
her highly acclaimed first novel, "The Bean Trees," left off. In this heart-twisting
sequel, her feisty young heroine, Taylor Greer, is faced with the possibility
of losing her 6-year-old daughter, Turtle. Taylor, an outspoken, self-professed
hillbilly from Kentucky, had headed west to avoid the poverty and despair
that were snagging her former schoolmates. Passing through Oklahoma, she
was snagged instead by a child.
In the offhand way that can lead a person in a whole new direction, Taylor
stopped at a bar on the edge of the Cherokee Nation; there, an Indian
woman deposited a little girl on the front seat of Taylor's Volkswagen
and promptly disappeared. The tiny, silent toddler, whom Taylor
called Turtle for her fierce snapping-turtle grip, had been beaten
and abused. Taylor kept on driving, and when the car broke down
in southern Arizona, she decided just to stay put. Thus Taylor Greer
became a single mother. [read
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