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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.
Loved this book, great environmental conservation theme , also recognizing struggle between farmers and wildlife, small farmers and large mechanized farms, struggle between family... Read morePublished 2 days ago by David Owen
A good read. I could easily imagine each of the three women they were really bought to life by Kingsolver. Loved the relationship between Garrett and Nannie Rawley very funny! Read morePublished 14 days ago by Sue
I loved the strong themes of nature, powerful women, and the connectedness of all living things. Words can't express fully how this book impacted me. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Mallory Eastland
Not many books I read get five stars. This does because it is a beautifully written book and because the stories are touching, small and deeply intimate. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Nikki Douglas
If you have read Flight Behavior by Kingsolver, then you would notice many similar details between these two novels. Read morePublished 25 days ago by ljrlundy
This is one of Kingsolvers best. Along with being well written it was a heart felt story of the lives of several people and how they were connected.Published 28 days ago by Stephanie Puchalski