Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver (Faber 2022)

Neil's picture

In this very powerful epic novel (550 pages) inspired by Dickens' David Copperfield, Barbara Kingsolver describes the impact of opioid addiction in the Appalachian region. That doesn't sound very promising, but Kingsolver is such a master of character and plot that she pulls off a relentless chronicle of poverty and lost opportunity with an unexpected degree of warmth and a propulsive storyline that draws the reader in. It's a masterpiece of love and loss, dripping with truth, anger and compassion.