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Prodigal Summer

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Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

After earning international acclaim with The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver returns in Prodigal Summer to her childhood stomping grounds of southern Appalachia, making a stop on the New York Times Bestseller list along the way. This award winning fifth novel is somewhat lighter than her earlier works, though no less meaningful and certainly just as entertaining. Kingsolver deftly embraces new risks, largely in the interaction of setting and plot lines that carry her message. High above the Zebulon Valley, a reclusive Forest Service biologist is forced to consider her own connection with humanity when a young bounty hunter trailing the same coyotes she's observing becomes her unlikely companion. Down the mountain, a young widow faces a choice between protecting her heart (by moving back to the city) or pouring it into the land to which she has become deeply attached. Further down the road, two elderly neighbors squabbling over pesticides and God are drawn together by their ideological differences to share a lesson in interdependence. All three plots unfold as the nature within and around them follows the abundant summer's urging to procreate. Where lesser writers would turn these fertile scenes into a prodigal disaster, Kingsolver weaves instead a beautifully detailed, touching meditation on nature and the connection that all things share within it. Prodigal Summer's carefully crafted ecological treatise is a love story told with Kingsolver's signature keen observations and earthy, poetic wit. Powell's customers named Prodigal Summer among their favorites and it's sure to please others in search of a richly refreshing, heartwarming and thoughtful read. Lilus, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

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. From her outpost in an isolated mountain cabin, Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. She is caught off-guard by a young hunter who invades her most private spaces and confounds her self-assured, solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain, 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 that has become her own. 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 possibilities of a future neither of them expected.

Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate overtakes the countryside, these characters find their connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with whom they share a place. With the complexity that characterizes Barbara Kingsolver's finest work, Prodigal Summer embraces pure thematic originality and demonstrates a balance of narrative, drama, and ideas that render it an inspiring work of fiction.

Review:

"Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words." Time

Review:

"A triumphant return to the southern Appalachians of her own childhood." Orlando Sentinal

Review:

"[Kingslover's] sexy, lyrical fifth novel renders our solitary yearnings with a finely trained eye and ear." People

Review:

"Ms. Kingsolver's writing is generously well-grafted; choice moments... radiate from nearly every page." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"A warm, intricately constructed book shot through with an extraordinary amount of insight and information about the wonders of the invisible world. " Newsweek

Synopsis:

Barbara Kingsolver's fifth novel is a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel's intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place.

Synopsis:

In a beautiful hymn to wildness, Kingsolver celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature and of nature itself. Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate takes over the countryside, the novel's characters find their connections to one another in the forested mountains of southern Appalachia.

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver presently lives outside of Tucson with her husband and her two daughters, Camille from a previous marriage, and Lily, who was born in 1996. When not writing or spending time with her family, Barbara gardens, cooks, hikes, works as an environmental activist and human-rights advocate, and plays hand drums and keyboards with her husband, guitarist Steven Hopp.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 13 comments:

ejwashburg, January 18, 2013 (view all comments by ejwashburg)
This book was perfect. I love Barbara Kingsolver and this book exemplified everything that I love about her. It includes character study, plot, and social issues. I couldn't put it down.
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Elizabeth Bee, August 30, 2012 (view all comments by Elizabeth Bee)
Need a sexy dose of summer? Prodigal Summer is the kind of book that makes you smell the honeysuckle and feel the humidity on your skin. This is a lush, sensual look into rural life and into the often unexpected ways people and wildlife are intricately interconnected. It's one of my favorites, particularly after spending my own summer in southern Appalachia.
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Monica Schley, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Monica Schley)
A lovely read.
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View all 13 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060959036
Author:
Kingsolver, Barbara
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
by Barbara Kingsolver
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Farm life
Subject:
Natural history
Subject:
Mountain life
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Appalachian Region, Southern
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
5
Publication Date:
October 16, 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
7.96x5.38x1.09 in. .77 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Prodigal Summer Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060959036 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."
"Review" by , "A triumphant return to the southern Appalachians of her own childhood."
"Review" by , "[Kingslover's] sexy, lyrical fifth novel renders our solitary yearnings with a finely trained eye and ear."
"Review" by , "Ms. Kingsolver's writing is generously well-grafted; choice moments... radiate from nearly every page."
"Review" by , "A warm, intricately constructed book shot through with an extraordinary amount of insight and information about the wonders of the invisible world. "
"Synopsis" by ,

Barbara Kingsolver's fifth novel is a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel's intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place.

"Synopsis" by , In a beautiful hymn to wildness, Kingsolver celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature and of nature itself. Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate takes over the countryside, the novel's characters find their connections to one another in the forested mountains of southern Appalachia.

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