Regular price: $42.20

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling 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.

©2018 Barbara Kingsolver (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    541
  • 4 Stars
    267
  • 3 Stars
    114
  • 2 Stars
    47
  • 1 Stars
    46

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    528
  • 4 Stars
    203
  • 3 Stars
    103
  • 2 Stars
    46
  • 1 Stars
    56

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    504
  • 4 Stars
    237
  • 3 Stars
    111
  • 2 Stars
    41
  • 1 Stars
    44
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Gail Dragon
  • Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina United States
  • 11-05-18

Spring for a professional narrator, please!

This is my least favorite Kingslover book. I am kind of disappointed, I found it completely uninteresting. Though the most disappointing factor would be the narration, it sounds tinny and the voices and accents were atrocious. Please, I beg you, hire a professional next time. It can make or break a book and for this one, it broke it. I don't think I would have been as disappointed otherwise.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So Bad!!!

I’ve read this author’s books over the years and enjoyed them so this was a shock. This one is painful, whiney, drivel. Suffered thru to the last hour and then just stopped. Poor story, poor narration - not worth my time or the credit.

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

so disappointing

It is rare when an author does a good job reading her/his own book. I didn't notice who the narrator was when I bought it. From the beginning it was kind of painful to listen to, with a somewhat stilted cadence and odd accents. When she mispronounced béchamel I thought "poor Barbara Kingsolver! They got someone to narrate her book who can't even correctly pronounce the words she wrote!" When I looked to see who the narrator was I was shocked to see that she chose to narrate her own book.
I've never been tempted to not finish one of her books, I'm a huge fan, but this one is depressing and the narration is the nail in the coffin.

52 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Timely and on message

It is difficult to know where to start in praise of this novel. Perhaps I am biased as I live in the Pine Barrens not too far from Vineland. The story is really two. The inception of the city by Charles Landis in the post civil war era and some of the people who settled there; their lives and the indigenous nature of the Pine Barrens. The second story is present day Vineland, a mostly low income group of multi-cultured characters and their struggle to live in the city that has slowly disintegrated. As in many of Kingsolver’s books we learn via her characters lessons of living green, geopolitics, and interpersonal relationships. Her descriptive science knowledge is peppered with bittersweet humor with us all simply trying to live on this planet riddled with insurmountable problems.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not her best work

I usually love Barbara Kingsolvers novels so I was excited to see a new one. However after listening to it on a long drive I found that it was terribly boring. I couldn't really find the point of the story and even skipped whole chapters hoping it would become more interesting. But alas, it didn't and I gave up without finishing.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but slow in places

I was really looking forward to listening to this book - but it fell a little short. The different voices were irritating to listen to, and while the book explored some really interesting themes I somehow expected more dramatic moments . Loved the lead protagonist Wilma - great to have a mid 50’s female as the central figure

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I have been a Kingsolver fan from the time nearly 30 years ago when I read Animal Dreams. The Bean Tree and Pigs in Heaven cemented her as one of my favorite authors. I also really enjoyed both Holding the Line and High Tide in Tucson as nonfiction. This is the first time I have ever been tempted to a DNF conclusion with a book by Barbara Kingsolver. Although we hold many of the same beliefs, her pretentious, dreadful dialogue/preaching was mind numbing. The highly educated protagonists have every possible calamity befall them. The members of the family were not only one dimensional but unbelievable. Even worse, the author opted to narrate. The voices of Mary Treat and almost every male spoke in such a stilted manner that listening was a frustrating, difficult endeavor. She is capable of so much more, making the book an even greater disappointment.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kim Ashby
  • PASADENA, TX, United States
  • 11-06-18

So disappointing

I was excited to read this book by one of my favorite authors. My excitement quickly vanished as I slogged through one incredibly boring and preachy chapter after another.

Ms. Kingsolver chose to narrate her own book. It’s hard to think anything could have made this book worse, but her plodding, laborious narration did indeed take the book from boring to unbearable, not to mention the numerous mispronounced words.

The book was a huge disappoint. Make this one a hard pass. You’ll thank me.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CG
  • 10-28-18

Beautiful historical fiction/modern day novel

I love Barbara Kingsolver's books and this one didn't fail. I love her attention to nature and in this case, the story of 19th century Mary Treat, a recognized botanist and the modern day woman who decides to write about her. The prose is beautiful, the politics timely and the story of family heartwarming. I liked but didn't love having Kingsolver narrate. She is very clear and easy to understand, but I was always aware of her narration. I never lost myself in the characters as I do with the really talented narrators.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RC
  • 10-18-18

Terrific

Once again, an absolute winner from Barbara Kingsolver. A history lesson (Mary Treat), social commentary, and just an all around terrific story by a terrific writer.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful