Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

This book is long, sad, charming, and hilarious. As with McEwan,I’d largely up Kingsolver, on having loved much of her earlier work, after a few that seemed mostly about an issue rather than really about the people. This one is about a social problem—the opioid crisis— but it’s so personal, so driven by a rich character and a vivid supporting cast, so fully formed, that the crisis is clearly the setting, not the true subject.

It obviously draws on David Copperfield, from the title and the brief cameo by the book itself, but it remains in a place where it still feels very much driven by its own engine, not just following the path. I wish she would’ve left it a little more subtle—no need to import all the names, just let it echo—but it didn’t ruin it for me. The perspective and the voice are unforgettable.

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