People commented what a good group discussion we had. What I remember was the comment by someone that Trotsky (who appears in the book) was depicted as rather a bureaucrat, whereas Pasternak in Dr Zhivago painted him as a visionary military genius. There was something there about - what does someone actually do month by month to qualify as a military genius - how, if at all, does that differ from being a militaristic leader - can those capacities ever be put to right use, even by someone fighting for the oppressed?
We talked about the social hierarchy of shades of skin colour in Mexico and Jamaica; about how Kingsolver joyfully throws artistic creativity in with the political mix; about the theme of successful people coming to need help from others to manage their lives so they can go on doing what made them sucessfull.
Someone noted how the structure of the book had similarities with the Gospel of St John, and someone else immediately pointed out the first line of the book ('In the beginning were the howlers'). We sat for a minute taking in this example of the synergy of the group (I think that means the sum being greater than the parts); perhaps Kingsolver had the Gospels in mind, as well as Frieda Kahlo, Trotsky, and the McCarthy hearings, when she wrote the book. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God' (John 1.1)
And God speaks for the silent man.