Prodigal Summer: A Novel

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Harper Collins, Oct 16, 2001 - Fiction - 464 pages
101 Reviews

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.


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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

This is closer in style to her earlier novels. Set in Appalachia, it follows three "couples" - Dianne Wolf & Eddie Bando; Lusa & Cole/Rickie; and Garrett & Ninnie. There's lots of description of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - engpunk77 - LibraryThing

Kingsolver has a magical way of subtly interweaving characters and story lines to illustrate the theme of interconnectedness. Solitude is an illusion--nothing's separate from anything else. Her style ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 24
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27
Section 28

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Page 186 - And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Page 186 - And God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it...
Page 35 - ... parents realized I was turning out more like Rocky than Grace Kelly, they finally heeded the call of suburbia and moved to New Jersey. I still live there. Unfortunately for my hips, though, I've never lost my penchant for Philly soft pretzels and hoagies, in spite of growing up in the "Garden State.
Page 27 - His presence filled her tiny cabin so, she felt distracted trying to cook breakfast. Slamming cupboards, looking for things in the wrong places, she wasn't used to company here. She had only a single ladderback chair, plus the old bedraggled armchair out on the porch with holes in its arms from which phoebes pulled white shreds of stuffing to line their nests.
Page 26 - Her own nakedness startled her, even; she normally slept in several layers. Awake in the early light with the wood thrushes, feeling the texture of the cool sheet against her skin, she felt as jarred and disjunct as a butterfly molted extravagantly from a duncolored larva and with no clue now where to fly.
Page 1 - But solitude is only a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot; every choice is a world made new for the chosen.
Page 437 - By thus becoming a successful farmer, albeit an unorthodox one, Lusa negotiates a position for herself within the Widener family, and within the recognizably Southern narrative geography of the Widener place: "one long story, the history of a family that had stayed on its land. And that story was hers now as well.
Page 135 - If the thought caused him sadness — that he would never again know the comfort of human touch — he sensed it was merely a tributary to the lake of grief through which an old man must swim at the end of his days.
Page 123 - The trees, the moths. The foxes, all the wild things that live up there. It's Cole's childhood up there, too. Along with yours and your sisters'.

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About the author (2001)

Barbara Kingsolver's work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. In 2000 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts. She received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain's Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She now lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

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