Maya Jaggi gets down and dirty in the Appalachians with Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer. Barbara Kingsolver, a writer praised for her”extravagantly gifted narrative voice” Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger. HA beguiling departure for Kingsolver, who generally tackles social themes with trenchantly serious messages, this sentimental but honest novel exhibits a.

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Garnett Walker is a man in his eighties, a retired vo-ag teacher who is grafting a new chestnut tree to withstand the blight that took out all the American chestnuts in the region. Around the Kingsopver i Oct 21, meredith rated it it was ok. It has the jewel-like clarity and intensity of Ian McEwan but without the prissy, look-at-me-I’m-so-clever that creeps into his work.

Kingsolver has been a hit or miss author for me. Garnett is proud of his forebears naming Zebulon Mountain and Valley and is proud that people used to call it Walker Mountain and Valley. The characters are so vivid and “real. Here’s the final paragraph it’s not a plot spoiler: And then there is Garnett, whose life seems to be sustained in large part by his ongoing feud with his neighbor, chemical-hating, certified organic orchardist Nannie Rawley.

Hillbillies and other animals

Clearly Kingsolver was not writing for my half male of the population. In the end their paths brush lightly against one another speaking, I think, of the bonds that connect us all but leave us to make our own connections in our own time. But the most irritating thing about the book is that the author came off soapboxey quite often.

Kingsolver, a former biologist and journalist, has a rare ability to pgodigal widely what she knows as a scientist, and this novel sounds warnings against hunting predators who compensate by breeding faster, or against pesticides that boost pest populations by killing off the bugs that prey on them. View all 10 comments. I would say that our realisation of these links is deliberately delayed by the writer to illustrate how the interdependence of parts of an eco-system is not always easy to discern.


Prodigal Summer tells the story of a small town in Appalachia during a single, humid summer, when three interweaving stories of love, loss and family unfold against the backdrop of the lush wildness of Virginia mountains. She ptodigal nudge you and say “Didja catch that? The book alternates among the three stories, which take place within a few miles of each other.

Then I tried The Bean Treeswhich was a hit. Open Preview See a Problem? This book came at the right time for me when I needed to escape from alarming news headlines.

Dec 18, Mack rated it really liked it. I was far more interested in Lusa’s story than the other two – although my interest in D I had to create a new shelf for this book as I couldn’t put it on my literary fiction shelf as I don’t believe people will be reading this book in a hundred or even fifty years time. Narrative Structure- nonlinear storytelling is not accomplished solely bqrbara an unconventional conclusion read: Oct 08, Sally Howes rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 5 comments.

Prodigwl lived and mated and died, they summer and went, as surely as summer did. The men in the story were either eye candy, backwards bible thumpers stuck in the s, or dumb red-necks.

This week, I met the wooly bear caterpillar and the granite spiny lizard at Mission Trails, both locals. However, this book left me somewhat disappointed by the end for two reasons: The Bean Trees Holding the Line: I often wondered what a conversation might have sounded like between the two camps, if they ever collided in the teacher’s lounge.

Prodigal Summer – Wikipedia

When Eddie Bondo shows up on her mountain, they connect and have a summer long love affair. Kingsolver writes well and does capture the sour disenchantment of Lusa’s disintegrating marriage perfectly. I liked the Moth Love thread the best out of the three. I am the kind of person whose mind usually wanders when faced with descriptions of natural surroundings, but Kingsolver’s deep feelings for the natural world show in her simple but beautiful similes and metaphors of nature, which captured my recalcitrant mind utterly.


Nor does the novel deny individuality; the tomboyishness summsr Lusa’s barrbara, Crystal, is less a sexual imperative than “just her way of trying to be herself”. Wikipedia abhors a vacuum. Now, I am afraid that everything I pick up by her is going to be an obnoxious statement against organized religion. I would say that this is a novel with three parallel narratives.

It’s almost like a mystery story in the way that Kingsolver drops clues here and there as to how the connections will go—and once you know, you find all these little nuggets you didn’t even notice at first. They also represent the greatest strengths of each character: I may try other fiction by this author considering I did like two other books of hers and this is the first fail. He is an extremely focused, uptight, aged man who just wants to be left alone on his farm and in his own routine, except for one thorn in his flesh, his neighbor Nannie Rawley, whose apple orchard, beehives, and gardening techniques cause him agitation and stress.

Half of them would have been surprised to learn that I was a candidate for a full I promise I could make you laugh if I showed you the comments my teachers made in my high school yearbook in my senior year. Also a minor point but Deanna was supposed to have really beautiful, but amazingly long hair in the conditions she was living in?

Oct 17, Ray rated it liked it.

Prodigal Summer

Everybody’s doing it here, people: Lusa was a scientific lab technician teaching in Lexington before she met her husband Cole and moved back to his rural farm amidst his imposing family. What I would label as a criticism was the over obvious version barbarra feminism that pervaded the book. Apr 06, Brenda rated it it was amazing. Aug 19, Ruth rated it it was amazing. The stories themselves rated about 3 to 3.