Harrison Shepherd is a man caught between two worlds. He was born in Washington DC to an American father and a Mexican mother in 1910. When his mother runs away to Mexico with another man, she takes Harrison with her.
As he matures, he spends time in both Mexico and America, but never feels quite at home in either. As a youngster, he finds work as a plasterer for painter Diego Rivera, and later becomes part of the household as a cook. There, he also befriends Frida, Diego’s wife, and some of Diego’s other friends, including Lev Trotsky, who is hiding out from assassins.
On coming to the US after his father’s death, Harrison settles in North Carolina, and becomes an acclaimed writer. But his past comes back to haunt him when Communist fever breaks out, and his associations come to light.
Kingsolver has masterfully captured the feeling of the times, and has once again given us a novel that will not only stay with us, but it will make us examine our own views.