Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

5 Stars from me

What an epic journey from start to finish this book is! Astonishingly, it was my pick for book club and most of the members didn’t enjoy it! All said it was too long. Wow – personally I absolutely loved it.

Demon Copperhead is a riveting and captivating read that kept me engaged from start to finish. Blatantly  reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ classic novel David Copperfield, with similarly rich character development and vivid descriptions of the brutality of care settings.

The characters in the book are complex and multifaceted, with their own unique motivations and personalities that impact the story in significant ways.

Demon, the titular character, is particularly fascinating. He is flawed and troubled, but also fiercely determined and loyal. His actions have a major impact on the other characters in the story, both positive and negative and truly by the end I felt that I could have gone on reading about Demon forever.

One of the key relationships in the book is between Demon and the numerous characters who play the role of his mentor throughout the various stages of his life. This is an ever changing cast but who all fill the same role. They each in their way help him navigate the challenges of his life. These relationships are often filled with tension and conflict, but also serve as a driving force for Demon’s character development.

My heart broke several times over during this epic read and overall, I highly recommend Demon Copperhead to anyone who enjoys an intense and character-driven story with action, suspense, and a vivid sense of place. Fans of David Copperfield will appreciate the similarities and I am sure will enjoy the character development and themes of personal growth and redemption.

Blurb: Demon Copperhead is a once-in-a-generation novel that breaks and mends your heart in the way only the best fiction can.

Demon’s story begins with his traumatic birth to a single mother in a single-wide trailer, looking ‘like a little blue prizefighter.’ For the life ahead of him he would need all of that fighting spirit, along with buckets of charm, a quick wit, and some unexpected talents, legal and otherwise.

In the southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, poverty isn’t an idea, it’s as natural as the grass grows. For a generation growing up in this world, at the heart of the modern opioid crisis, addiction isn’t an abstraction, it’s neighbours, parents, and friends. ‘Family’ could mean love, or reluctant foster care. For Demon, born on the wrong side of luck, the affection and safety he craves is as remote as the ocean he dreams of seeing one day. The wonder is in how far he’s willing to travel to try and get there.

Suffused with truth, anger and compassion, Demon Copperhead is an epic tale of love, loss and everything in between.


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