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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.
Very thoughtful, very heart felt, and written with a great voice.Published 3 days 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 4 days ago by Judy Mathews
A bit too preachy for my taste. The Poisonwood Bible is by far her best work.Published 6 days ago by jane rosenberg
I enjoyed the simple stories of individual culminating into the same destination. I loved the knowledge of flora and fauna, little tit-bits of history with the evolving... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Alan Johnson
Loved it. Love this author, and I cannot wait for more from her. The strength of the lead characters was inspiring, and the passionate appreciation for nature and it's miracles... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Madeleine
You never miss with Barbara Kingsolver. She always tells a compelling story and you are bound to learn something that you didn't know.Published 2 months ago by PaulaToddKing