Two families, in two centuries, live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in a New Jersey town that was founded as a Utopian community. UNSHELTERED is their story, in alternating chapters, as they navigate challenges that unify human existence and link them across dangerous times when the accepted modes of thinking no longer apply in a new world
by Barbara Kingsolver
Harper, October 2018
Willa Knox has always tried to do everything right in life, but finds herself arriving at middle age with nothing to show for it. The magazine where she worked has folded, and so has the college where her husband had tenure. Their kids struggle to find employment and pay off college loans, her live-in father-in-law rails against the welfare state but needs medical care they can’t afford. Her son’s unplanned baby has landed in Willa’s lap. And now she’s learned their home, an old brick house they inherited, is in danger of collapse.
Thatcher Greenwood is a science teacher with a lifelong passion for honest investigation, but finds himself under siege for telling the truth: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting theory recently published by Charles Darwin. His friendships with a brilliant woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor draw him into a vendetta with the powerful men of the town. At home, his new bride and status-conscious mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal while ignoring his financial worries and the news that their house is structurally unsound.
Barbara Kingsolver‘s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts. She received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain’s Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist.