A NovelBook - 2000
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.
With the richness that characterizes Barbara Kingsolver's finest work, Prodigal Summer embraces pure thematic originality and demonstrates a balance of narrative and ideas that only an accomplished novelist could render so beautifully.
From Library Staff
The Tree Hugger
Romantic relationships spark in the midst of revelry with the natural world. Kingsolver highlights dialogue among Appalachian characters. Compare to Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen.
LPL_ShirleyB Jul 31, 2015
In this celebration of nature Kingsolver honors Appalachian wilderness as an aphrodisiac; romantic relationships spark in the midst of revelry with the natural world. Wildlife is prominent in the story. Listen to Kingsolver’s Appalachian dialect on the audiobook. We also own Prodigal Summer as an... Read More »
Kingsolver highlights dialogue among Appalachian characters as romantic relationships spark in the midst of revelry with the natural world.