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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.
When I grow up, I wanna be in a Kingsolver novel! I loved the older characters the most... Can you make me an eccentric little ole lady , miss Barbara ?Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
Barbara Kingsolver has a talent for slipping a lot of teaching into a well-crafted tale. I enjoy the way she combines her passion for living things with her creative storytelling... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Jan Krische
all of Barbara Kingsolver's books are excellent... and most enjoyable.Published 15 days ago by Ann Reindollar
Not my favorite Barbara Kingsolver book... I had high hopes after reading the Poisonwood Bible. I just remember this book being weird and the characters being kind of drab.Published 17 days ago by Vegigirl
I previously read, on 1 July 2000, the author's The Bean Trees, and on 21 Jan 2001, her The Poisonwood Bible, both of said books having been read because they appeared on some... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Schmerguls
Thought provoking, while still offering up excellent entertainment. Kingsolver is an excellent author and is certainly concerned about the health of our world and the goodness of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Caroline V.