Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver Reviewed by Emma


Barbara Kingsolver is at her very best in this highly readable story of a boy growing up amid poverty and addiction in Appalachia. In Demon she has created a warm, charismatic, damaged character, who will stay with you long after you have finished reading. Demon narrates his own story ‘My thinking here is to put everything in the order of how it happened’ and his voice draws you into his life and the lives of his friends; Maggot, Emmy, Tommy, Angus and Dori as they try to survive encounters with some truly terrible adults.

Kingsolver does not hold back in her depictions of social inequality and the terrible toll of the opioid addiction crisis in America, but the novel also celebrates the warmth of true friendships and the determination of some people to do the right thing, whatever the circumstances. Winner of both the Women’s prize for fiction and the Pulitzer Prize this may well be the best book you read this year.