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Publisher Description

A New York Times Bestseller

Named one of the Best Books of the Year (2018) by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek

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.

How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks, and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals, and have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. The magazine where Willa worked has folded; the college where her husband had tenure has closed. Their dubious shelter is also the only option for a disabled father-in-law and an exasperating, free-spirited daughter. When the family’s one success story, an Ivy-educated son, is uprooted by tragedy he seems likely to join them, with dark complications of his own.

In another time, a troubled husband and public servant asks, How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting work just published by Charles Darwin. His young bride and social-climbing mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his worries that their elegant house is unsound. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town’s powerful men.

Unsheltered is the compulsively readable story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it. With history as their tantalizing canvas, these characters paint a startlingly relevant portrait of life in precarious times when the foundations of the past have failed to prepare us for the future.

Fiction & Literature
October 16

Customer Reviews

half& half ,


First chapter draws you in - occasional clever wit but wonderfully realistic description of human relationships. Of grief, longing. I want to continue with these people, learn how they cope with unavoidable change.

Jack Mckenzie ,


While well written, Kingsolver took the opportunity to extoll her very liberal socialistic views on society. Throughout the book she references various topics like the the “Bullhorn” presidential candidate, Occupy Wall Street, Global Warming, the evil 1% and oppressed workers, the application for Medicaid benefits for foolish people who made bad life choices. I wish I could get my $15 back. I liked the flashback story and characters but found the present day characters to be pathetic. Good example of celebrity politics and so called influence.

Juniper2021 ,

I really tried to read this book

I love Barbara Kingsolver. And I really tried to read this book. I kept wondering how someone as brilliant as Kingsolver could write some thing as boring as this book? I was certain I just needed to give it time. I gave up halfway through. It’s just so boring.

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