This is a very well-written book, deceptively simple but filled with layers. It ostensibly tells two stories: that of Matt, sent on a seemingly-impossible quest by his pregnant wife Marissa, to find the cradle her mother stole when she abandoned her family; and that of Renee, a popular children's book author who is trying to write poetry as she worries about her soldier son.
But there are complex stories that spring out from these two tales. Somerville is telling the story of families and how they are made, of connections known and unknown, of secrets and choices. He is exploring what it means to be selfish and what it means to sacrifice, and how we decide every day just which path we are going to take, and who we are going to walk along that path with.
This may be one of the most beautifully-written books out there.
Kingsolver has composed a truly epic tale, the story of Nathan Price, an evangelical preacher, and the wife and four daughters he takes with him on a missionary trip to Africa in the late 1950's. Price and his family think they know what to bring with them, and what to expect, but they could not be more wrong. Kingsolver follows the family through three decades of change, tragedy, revelations, and choices, and readers are right there for the journey.
Kingsolver is an author who not only writes so beautifully, but does her research as well. This is a book that will not leave you, even when you turn that final page and close the cover.