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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.
The ENDING left a lot to be desired. We need to know about the baby What happens with the goat's. Is there to be a sequel to Finnish the story. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Dave Mac
A most perfect book. To get the most from it, listen to Barbara Kingsolver read it.Published 11 days ago by Rebecca J. Sweeney
Just beautiful. I've read this twice now and I'm captivated every time. The characters are life-sized and the settings are rich. Wonderful work.Published 12 days ago by Jessica B.
I loved all of the characters, there struggles to solve both practical and family problems, but I especially loved the explanations of what happens when we introduce and/ or... Read morePublished 15 days ago by S. Moss
It had several twists and turns - it had some sad happenings and then there would be some comic relief.
If you are a naturalist - you would like this book.
wish I had a chance to discuss the ending with another recent reader. Great mix of biology,ecology, family conflict, culture clash, and the beauty of nature in rural America.Published 21 days ago by Ann C. Andrex
Very good & Nicely intricate plot
Good character development
This is a book I would read again
Lots if family development
Barbara is a gifted writer. Her discriptions of imagery are beautiful -you can see the detail and colors of what she is writing about. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Jerrol Golden
Barbara Kingsolver teaches us science and human emotional struggles in a finely written compelling story. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Duane K. Kromm