April 5th, 2018

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The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver

Second paragraph of third chapter:
It was the second day of the new year. I had stayed on at the Broken Arrow through most of the holidays, earning some money changing beds. The older woman with the shakes, whose name was Mrs. Hoge, was determined I should stay awhile. She said they could use the extra help during the Christmas season, especially since her daughter-in-law's ankles were giving her trouble. Which is no wonder. A human ankle is not designed to hold up two hundred and fifty pounds. If we were meant to weigh that much we would have big round ankles like an elephant or a hippopotamus.
This was Kingsolver's first novel, but the fourth that I had read (after The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna and Prodigal Summer). I was charmed by this as I was by the others. It's a lovely story of a young woman from Kentucky who leaves home, and by the time she reaches Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired someone else's baby. There's a nicely depicted gradual maturing of the narrator, and a sentimental ending involving two Guatemalan refugees which successfully pulled at my heartstrings. Very sweet and powerful book which you can get here.

This happened to reach the top of two of my lists simultaneously, unread books by women and unread books that are fiction but not sf. Next in order on those lists respectively are Moominvalley in November, by Tove Jansson, and Gemini, by Dorothy Dunnett.