By: Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver, a writer praised for her "extravagantly gifted narrative voice" (New York Times Book Review), has created with this novel a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself.
Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives inhabiting the forested mountains and struggling small farms of southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches the forest from her outpost in an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and confound her self-assured, solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain, another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer's wife, finds herself unexpectedly marooned in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land. And a few more miles down the road, a pair of elderly, feuding neighbors tend their respective farms and wrangle about God, pesticides, and the complexities of a world neither of them expected.
Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate overtakes a green and profligate countryside, these characters find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place. Their discoveries are embedded inside countless intimate lessons of biology, the realities of small farming, and the final, urgent truth that humans are only one part of life on earth.
I will it admit, it wasn't until page 120 something that I started getting interested in this book. But once I did, I wanted to keep reading. As for rating the book, I'd put it somewhere between "It was OK" and "I liked it." It's not a book I'd recommend to everyone, but not a book I'd say to stay away from either. Kingsolver uses far more descriptive writing than I'm used to. I tend to like my stories to get right to the point (though I did like her book The Bean Trees). My only real gripe with this book is that I felt the book ended somewhat unresolved. It expected a little more.... Okay, a lot more.my read shelf: