We turn to books to try to make sense of the world, and that’s even more true when the world seems not only to be losing its sense but determined to put them on a bonfire. So it’s with anticipation that i’ve collected Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver, from the local library (what a lovely system that is. I read a review, put in a request online, get an e-mail from the local library, and have three weeks in which to read an expensive hardback I don’t want to buy. Enjoy it while you can, folks).

So, it’s a fascinating read, moving between two periods of time, witha ll sorts of little ripples and shivers which related to Trump’s America, but don’t go overboard. There are times when it verges on the preachy, but she’s a serious, constructive writer, and she really makes you think. Makes herself thick, too, with a running,heated dialogue between the central character and her daughter - in which a sensitive, concerned liberal is forced to confront ways in which her assumptions and value system may be entirely out of date. Not comfortable, but necessary stuff.