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Unsheltered: A Novel Audiobook, by Barbara Kingsolver Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Barbara Kingsolver Narrator: Barbara Kingsolver Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2018 ISBN: 9780062865502
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The New York Times bestselling author of Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, and The Poisonwood Bible and recipient of numerous literary awards—including the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Orange Prize—returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.

Willa Knox has always prided herself on being the embodiment of responsibility for her family. Which is why it’s so unnerving that she’s arrived at middle age with nothing to show for her hard work and dedication but a stack of unpaid bills and an inherited brick home in Vineland, New Jersey, that is literally falling apart. The magazine where she worked has folded, and the college where her husband had tenure has closed. The dilapidated house is also home to her ailing and cantankerous Greek father-in-law and her two grown children: her stubborn, free-spirited daughter, Tig, and her dutiful debt-ridden, ivy educated son, Zeke, who has arrived with his unplanned baby in the wake of a life-shattering development.

In an act of desperation, Willa begins to investigate the history of her home, hoping that the local historical preservation society might take an interest and provide funding for its direly needed repairs. Through her research into Vineland’s past and its creation as a Utopian community, she discovers a kindred spirit from the 1880s, Thatcher Greenwood.

A science teacher with a lifelong passion for honest investigation, Thatcher finds himself under siege in his community for telling the truth: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting new theory recently published by Charles Darwin. Thatcher’s friendships with a brilliant woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor draw him into a vendetta with the town’s most powerful men. At home, his new wife and status-conscious mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his financial worries and the news that their elegant house is structurally unsound.

Brilliantly executed and compulsively listenable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerizing story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realize that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred—whether family or friends—and in the strength of the human spirit.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A sociopolitical novel tackling real-world issues, especially how we humans navigate profound changes that threaten to unmoor us.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “With a spellbinding narrative and its exquisitely accurate evocation of two eras, Barbara Kingsolver’s novel is itself a shelter of sorts. One doesn’t want to leave it.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Unsheltered’s title suggests a roof gone missing. But it’s also a resonant call to be more alert to our social predicaments, to ‘stand in the clear light of day.’”

    USA Today

  • “Kingsolver suggests it’s never been easy to find oneself unsheltered, cast out from the comforts of old beliefs about how the world works…We’ve adapted before. With a little creative thinking and courage, we might do so again.”

    Washington Post

  • “Kingsolver’s meticulously observed, elegantly structured novel unites social commentary with gripping storytelling…Containing both a rich story and a provocative depiction of times that shake the shelter of familiar beliefs, this novel shows Kingsolver at the top of her game.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • An October 2018 LibraryReads Pick
  • New York Times bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
  • Selected for a Southern Book Prize Honorable Mention
  • An Oprah.com Best Books of the Year selection
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2018
  • A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2018 in Fiction
  • A Newsweek Best Book of the Year

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About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of more than ten New York Times bestsellers, including works of fiction, poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work has earned literary awards, including the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She is the founder of the PEN/Bellwether Prize.