Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

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Demon Copperhead is a novel set in the southern Appalachia, following the story of a boy born to a young single mother in a trailer with little to no assets. Despite facing challenges like foster care, child labor, addiction, and losses, Demon uses his wit and survival skills to navigate through life. The novel draws inspiration from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield and addresses issues of institutional poverty and its impact on children in society. It speaks for a new generation of boys who are lost and unable to leave their cursed surroundings.

Book review of Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead is a novel by Barbara Kingsolver that follows the story of a young boy, Demon, as he navigates life in modern-day Appalachia. Kingsolver’s take on the classic story of David Copperfield is an excellent read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

One of the best things about Demon Copperhead is how Kingsolver brings her characters to life. Each of the characters feels like a real person, with their own unique personality and backstory. The way the author weaves their stories together is impressive, and you can’t help but feel invested in their lives. Demon, in particular, is a character that you can’t help but root for. His journey is both heartbreaking and inspiring, and his artistic side adds a unique dimension to his character.

Another strength of Demon Copperhead is how Kingsolver tackles the themes of poverty, education, and drug addiction that are prevalent in modern-day Appalachia. The author doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life in this part of the country but manages to do so without being overly bleak. Instead, she offers a nuanced view of the issues, showing the complex web of factors that contribute to them. It’s clear that Kingsolver has a deep understanding of the region and its people, and this comes through in her writing.

The novel’s pacing is also worth mentioning. Despite the heavy themes it deals with, Demon Copperhead is a page-turner that will keep you reading late into the night. The way the author moves the story forward is masterful, with each chapter building on the last. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, and the ending is both satisfying and thought-provoking.

One of the only downsides of Demon Copperhead is its price. While the Kindle version is expensive, it’s worth noting that the hardcover and paperback versions are more reasonably priced. However, if you’re a fan of Kingsolver’s work or interested in modern-day Appalachia, it’s definitely worth the investment.

Final verdict:

In conclusion, Demon Copperhead is a beautifully written and thought-provoking novel that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it. Kingsolver’s characters and themes are expertly crafted, and the pacing keeps the story moving forward. While the price may be steep, the book is well worth it. I highly recommend Demon Copperhead to anyone who enjoys literary fiction, coming-of-age stories, or stories that explore the complexities of modern-day Appalachia.

Our Score


  • The characters are well-developed and feel like real people, with unique personalities and backstories.
  • The novel tackles complex themes such as poverty, education, and drug addiction in modern-day Appalachia with nuance and depth.
  • The pacing of the story is masterful, with plenty of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged until the satisfying and thought-provoking ending.


  • The Kindle version of the book is expensive, which may deter some readers from purchasing it.
  • While the novel deals with heavy themes, it may not be suitable for readers who prefer lighter or more escapist fiction.
  • The book is a retelling of David Copperfield, which may not appeal to readers who are not interested in this type of adaptation or retelling.
Demon CopperheadPublisher ‏ : ‎ Harper (October 18, 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 560 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0063251922
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063251922
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.94 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.48 x 9 inches

About Article Author

Ethan Davis

Ethan Davis combines his passion for literature with another of his great hobbies: climbing. There is never a mountain high enough for him... nor a book he doesn't want to read, especially if it's a good crime thriller.
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