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Exuberant, lush, riotous--the summer of the novel is "the season of extravagant procreation" in which bullfrogs carelessly lay their jellied masses of eggs in the grass, "apparently confident that their tadpoles would be able to swim through the lawn like little sperms," and in which a woman may learn to "tell time with her skin." It is also the summer in which a family of coyotes moves into the mountains above Zebulon Valley:
The ghost of a creature long extinct was coming in on silent footprints, returning to the place it had once held in the complex anatomy of this forest like a beating heart returned to its body. This is what she believed she would see, if she watched, at this magical juncture: a restoration.The "she" is Deanna Wolfe, a wildlife biologist observing the coyotes from her isolated aerie--isolated, that is, until the arrival of a young hunter who makes her even more aware of the truth that humans are only an infinitesimal portion in the ecological balance. This truth forms the axis around which the other two narratives revolve: the story of a city girl, entomologist, and new widow and her efforts to find a place for herself; and the story of Garnett Walker and Nannie Rawley, who seem bent on thrashing out the countless intimate lessons of biology as only an irascible traditional farmer and a devotee of organic agriculture can. As Nannie lectures Garnett, "Everything alive is connected to every other by fine, invisible threads. Things you don't see can help you plenty, and things you try to control will often rear back and bite you, and that's the moral of the story."
Structurally, that gossamer web is the story: images, phrases, and events link the narratives, and these echoes are rarely obvious, always serendipitous. Kingsolver is one of those authors for whom the terrifying elegance of nature is both aesthetic wonder and source of a fierce and abiding moral vision. She may have inherited Thoreau's mantle, but she piles up riches of her own making, blending her extravagant narrative gift with benevolent concise humor. She treads the line between the sentimental and the glorious like nobody else in American literature. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Characters were rich, writing was masterful, and the story line beautiful.
This novel is much more interesting than Poisonwood Bible (though I liked that one too!)and you can relate to the characters a little more realistically.
I really felt like the whole book was a great build up to what was going to happen, and then it just ended.
Barbara Kingsolvers uncanny ability to capture her characters internal communication keeps the reader involved with outcome expectations. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Danie Markgraaff
This book has been added to my top ten list of favorite reads. I enjoyed the plant, animal and human connection. The book ended before I was ready to put it down.Published 22 days ago by Annalisa Sherman
This is an excellent read. Barbara Kingsolver at her best, expertly weaving her knowledge and love of the natural world through a massively entertaining account of the lives of a... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Melinda van Zyl
Prodigal Summer weaves multiple characters and their storylines into one believable snapshot of American family life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Matt Beatty
Probably the worst recommendation I have ever accepted. I hated it after the first chapter and never finished the book. It depends on what you are looking for in a book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Easy Birder
Very thoughtful, very heart felt, and written with a great voice.Published 1 month ago by Perry Jones
A fun and interesting read. Barbara Kingsolver writes an eloquent story about a woman who learns that she can follow her dreams even after being married for many years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Judy Mathews