Summary (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
Homeland, and Other Stories, Kingsolver’s second book, begins with the touching and poetic title story about a woman attempting to pass along her Cherokee beliefs and values to her great-granddaughter while resigned to a vastly changing world. The last story, “Why I’m a Danger to the Public,” tells of a young woman fighting for workers’ rights in a mine strike, with resignation the furthest thing from her mind. “Rose-Johnny” is narrated by a young girl who defends an eccentric outcast in a prejudiced small town. In “Covered Bridges,” a husband comes face-to-face with his wife’s mortality while they are in the process of deciding whether to have children. In “Survival Zones,” a middle-aged and very typical farm wife, Roberta, comes to terms with her predictable life. The joke that she attempts to tell at the beginning but can never get right finally makes sense by the middle of the story. By the end of the story, she sees that her life, though conventional, is comfortable and fulfilling.
The stories cover a range of locales. In “Jump-up Day,” an independent-minded girl is forced to live in a convent in the Caribbean region; in “Blueprints,” a couple moves to the country after ten years of life together in Sacramento, only to find their relationship seriously threatened in the new setting.
Characters in the remaining stories include an estranged, free-spirited mother and daughter who are both pregnant, a...
(The entire section is 395 words.)
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