Pigs in Heaven

Pigs in Heaven

by Barbara Kingsolver

Other Format

$25.75 View All Available Formats & Editions


Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, leading to a man's dramatic rescue. But Turtle's moment of celebrity draws her into a crisis of historical proportions that will envelop not only her and her mother, Taylor, but everyone else who touched their lives in a complex web connecting their future with their past. With this wise, compelling novel, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, and Animal Dreams vividly renders a world of heartbreak and redeeming love as she defines and defies the boundaries of family, and illuminates the many separate truths about the ties that bind us and tear us apart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613194204
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date: 11/28/2003
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.05(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded 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 lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Date of Birth:

April 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Annapolis, Maryland


B.A., DePauw University, 1977; M.S., University of Arizona, 1981

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Pigs in Heaven 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
Adrian Sloan More than 1 year ago
Loved this book as much as I did Bean Trees!
EmiliaBartelheim More than 1 year ago
Pigs in Heaven is a book I was really not looking forward to read at all. I chose it for the theme, and going into this I was dreading reading it, as there's nothing worse than having to read a really bad book, but I came out of it with a book that I can definitely call one of my favourites now. The real story begins with Taylor Greer on a sort of soul searching trip with her adoptive daughter, Turtle, a six year old girl Taylor was just handed three years earlier. They visit the Hoover Dam, and Turtle witnesses a near death, which lands them in the public eye for saving a man's life. It brings attention to Turtle's heritage, a void adoption, and a sudden battle to sort a girl into one of two cultures under what each think her best interests would be. Along the way, they meet strange characters, both for their gain and detriment, and the story not only follows them but a variety of characters all centered around the same plot. The relationships of every individual character that Kingsolver rotates through each chapter, and the development of their lives in relation to each other, highlights the actuality of personality in comparison to one's perception of themselves and the continuous segregation of culture and races in modern times. I can't really think of anything I didn't like about the book. The voice was really well executed, and the story line unlike anything I've read before. Somewhat educational, and research was obviously done to write the novel. One should read this book not for any particular reason than to read. It could aid in perhaps gaining a better understanding of modern segregation, but it's no history lesson. And although I tend to gravitate towards the 'New Science Fiction' section of the bookstores I frequent, there is a timeless quality that some books seem to have, this included, where you're not focusing on how it shallowly relates to your own life. You just read it.
sawyierlady More than 1 year ago
Kingsolver weaves the characters into a story that is unforgetable, building on culture of the localities involved. Great reading for pleasure and learning about differences.
steach More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful follow-up to The Bean Trees! With Turtle finally settled with her "adoptive" mom, Taylor, officials from the Cherokee nation threaten her security. Taylor flees Tuscon, trying to make a safe home for Turtle, but she cannot run away from her sense of responsibility for Turtle's heritage. While swept away in this wonderful novel, I also found myself learning things about the history of Native Americans, and the horrible treatment they received from the white culture. An amazing book that I wanted to go on and on. Any chance of a sequel?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is a really good story for people who usually don't read. Its easy to follow the more you get into it. It's kind of sad at first and then at the end it all comes together to be a really good novel. I don't really read much but I couldn't put this book down. It had intresting characters in the story that you become to like because of how they handle certain situations. This is a really good book to read if you like to know a little about the Cherokee culture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was much better than the first book 'The Bean Tree' it has drama, action and keeps your interest page after page. Barbara Kingslover did a wonderful job.This is a must read book.
oldblack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another fine Kingsolver story. I initially avoided reading her books, despite recommendations from people I kind-of knew! The reason I avoided them was that they sounded too heavily laden with socio-political messages, and I don't read fiction to be preached at. However, what I've found is that this author is remarkably skillful in creating characters and situations with which I could identify and become emotionally involved, despite their apparent distance from my own situation. This story is a classic example. The obvious target audience groups are mothers and native americans, and to neither of which do I belong. Kingsolver sets up a story of Cherokee versus mother, but she does it in such a way that this reader felt equally drawn to both sides. The justice of both the mother's position and the Indian's position is made evident and we can't see how this can resolve satisfactorily. Of course the conclusion doesn't have to be completely satisfactory, because life isn't like that, but nonetheless, Kingsolver's ultimate message is that love does have the power to take us beyond motherhood or genetic ancestry. Yes, the last couple of chapters did move me to tears, but I'm that sort of person I guess. It definitely helped, but wasn't essential, to read "The Bean Trees" first. This was especially true because it set up the (geographic) landscape for me, a non-American. That landscape (both urban and rural) and the way it affects the people's lives is a major issue in these books, I think.
Kace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ok, I'm rereading this now. Bean Trees and this one, the books I fell in love with in High School. I had it "reviewed" on here before, but think I was on crack or something, cause it only had 2 stars...yeah, it's clearly not that, not then and not now.Kingsolvers voice for me is what made the two mentioned books so involving for me. The characters were real and haunting, and I've spent years thinking about the characters, though not obsessively so, because that would be crazy, but in the way that I compare books. For years after reading Bean Trees, and the better Pigs in Heaven, I searched in vain for authors that had Kingsolvers way with pen. Alas it was to no avail. Not even Kingsolver compared with her various other stories. Of course, now I've found some I love and return to again and again. The joys of obsessive reading.
samsheep on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Re-reading this after many years - I had forgotten how utterly lovely it was. Magical and uplifting. Barbara Kingsolver is endlessly wonderful....
gillis.sarah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I didn't like this book as much as I enjoyed its prequel ('The Bean Trees'), it was nice to continue with the story of Turtle and learn a bit more about her. She gets a lot more interesting as a character in this book. I also found how I felt about the legal and emotional struggle between Turtle's adopted mother and her tribe very interesting.
mashley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bit predictable, but good characters.
readingrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While it had the same likable characters returning from the Bean Trees and was definitely an enjoyable read, this book fell a little short when it came to capturing the magic its predecessor had.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Brilliant, brilliant book. It starts off with a startling array of niceness - nice family, nice lifestyle, a miasma of likeability. The boyfriend in particular is way too good to be true (he actually invites his girlfriend's mother to come and live with them, and appears to welcome the prospect. Blokes like that don't exist outside of fiction). The reason for all this likeability becomes clear when it emerges that this book centres around a tug-of-love situation, and ensures that we don't know which side to sympathise with.Some skilfuly dropped clues ensure that the reader is always one step ahead of the characters and anticipating the next step, and good pacing ensures that it is a while before they catch up, so the suspense is ensured. Like all the other books I have read by this author, the research is thorough without weighing down the plot, and it is compelling, humorous and informative.I had no idea that this was part of a series, but upon finishing it I discovered 'The Bean Trees' in a second hand shop and found out that it was a prequel to this one, so guess what I read next.
laurie_library on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author is a wonderful storyteller. The stomp dance scene came alive for me.
snash on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book fun to read with a host of memorable, entertaining characters, most of of whom I liked. It dealt with a difficult dilemma which was perhaps too neatly solved but it made me happy.
silviastraka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sequel to the Bean Trees. Turtle, as a result of a rescue publicized on national TV, is identified as the lost child of a Cherokee band. (Taylor had adopted Turtle, who had been thrust at her by the mother at a truck stop, who then disappeared). The fudged adoption comes to light and the novel focuses on the competing claims as to where Turle belongs. On the one side isTaylor, the white mother, who did not seek to scoop a Native child, but was herself very young and inexperienced when the child was given to her. Taylor has been an exemplary mother and there is a strong and healthy bond between her and Turtle. On the other side is the Cherokee band, whose lawyer lays out the multitude of reasons why Turtle belongs with her people. Kingsolver does an excellent job in showing the validity of the claims of both sides. But the child cannot be sawed into half. The novel is the story of the conflict and its resolution, which turned out to be too convenient and facile -- creating an "everybody wins" scenario. This is the one aspect of this book I dislike. Other than that, I adore Kingsolver's writing and these characters.I read this book a couple of years before I moved to Manitoba, with its large Indigenous population and its history of systematically taking Indigenous kids away from their parents. Since I am a social work educator, this is an important issue for me to grasp and I found that Kingsolver's novel helped me to gain some insight into why it is so important for these children to remain in their communities.
butterflybaby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. I felt that it was political spin off from the Bean Trees. Taylor and Turtle explore moral and legal issues. Just like the first book Pigs in Heaven really brought the characters to life and was interesting. I would recomend this book.
angela.vaughn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Turtle books are some of the sweetest. They pull at your heart strings and really draw you in. Kingsolver has a way with different cultures and sheding light on the customs and people so that even the simplist of people can understand what both sides are trying to bring to the table.
lycomayflower on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am always struck by how good Kingsolver is when I start one of her books. I don't know why I forget this in between. In all of Kingsolver's books that I have read she does a great job depicting women and women's community (something I am often impatient with but which rings absolutely true for me in her books), and in Pigs in Heaven the juggling of multiple character points of view and of multiple ways of seeing the world--and the way the reader is made to empathize with all of them--is particularly well done.
wordygirl39 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The sequel to the Bean Trees continues the story of Taylor and Turtle, but this book feels richer, more layered. It looks closely at a difficult issue still important in America today: Should we look the other way at cross-cultural adoption if the child will be cared for and loved? Does culture and etnicity matter more than love?
lamericaana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this ages ago, don't remember what it's about, but I remember loving it and it turned me on to Barbara Kingsolver (a wonderful thing). Maybe I'll have to go back and re-read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pigs in Heaven, the sequel to The Bean Trees, is a great book to read. It keeps you on your toes and wanting to know what happens next. Taylor has very interesting and unique relationships with her daughter Turtle, her mother Alice, and her boyfriend Jax. They aren’t the “typical” relationships but that’s what made it such an amazing book. While reading the book I thought about what was the “right” thing to do? Should Turtle have been raised by someone from her culture/ background or raised by Taylor? Taylor may not have the same nationality, but loves Turtle and cares for her no matter what. At the end of the novel, the answer about what happens to Turtle isn’t completely defined, but it keeps you thinking. I loved the way the characters are revealed in the story. One example is, like the loneliness, and lack of success to keep healthy relationships, that were clear about Alice. Alice’s marriage with Harland gives judgment into her life of love troubles. While reading further into the book the reader gets a sense of community when Taylor and her mother Alice, visit the Cherokee town Heaven. Everyone knows everyone else's family history, children, and especially gossip. The author stresses how important being close family is in her description of the neighborhoods in the small town of Heaven. "It was Roscoe's mama's homestead land, sixty acres. Every one of them got sixty acres, back in the allotments. Most of them sold it or give it away, or got it stole out from them in some way. I don't know why she didn't, probably didn't get no offers. So we ended up here. When the kids each one got big, we told them to find a place to set a trailer house and go ahead” (page 221). A huge theme in this novel would definitely be the importance of family because it ties all of the characters together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago