Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingslover


I’ve read more than I have written this winter.  I’ll try and catch up a bit.

Barbara Kingsolver is a favorite author.  I loved the quirky characters in her early works.  Poisonwood Bible was a very powerful read.  I finally finished Prodigal Summer after many false starts.  Something always interrupted me, and I’d need to start over.  I’m so glad I got from beginning to end.  It was a wonderful book full of people I was glad to meet.  Kingsolver’s concern for the environment comes through very strongly as she tells three parallel stories about living on the land in Southern Appalachia.  

Deanna Wolfe is a wildlife biologist living in an isolated cabin.  Her woods overlook the valley below where Lusa Maluf Landowsky is trying to save the farm she inherited after her young husband dies suddenly.  While she loves biology and knows a lot about nature, she’s from the city and has never farmed.  Down the road live two, elderly, feuding neighbors who can’t agree on much of anything.  All the characters won my heart as they tried to understand themselves, others and the miraculous plants and animals that surrounded them.   Almost 20 years ago, when this book was written, Kingsolver clearly saw the interconnections that all of nature, including human beings, share.  Kingsolver builds on a premise that environmental sustainability is best served when we live in harmony with each other and all of  life on the planet. Human beings must conscientiously receive and give back to insure the healthy future of the Earth. Good stories put the issues before us in ways that go beyond the intellectual.  A good story touches the heart.     

2 comments on “Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingslover”

  1. Yes, yes, a good story does touch the heart. Opens the heart…
    I have enjoyed other Kingsolver books, especially The Lacuna. Glad to hear a personal take on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Barbara. I loved reading Poisonwood, too. The Lacuna is on my list, and from the sound of it, I need to add Prodigal Summer.


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