Animal Dreams: A Novel

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Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Fiction - 384 pages
6 Reviews

From Barbara Kingsolver, the acclaimed author of Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Bean Trees, and other modern classics, Animal Dreams is a passionate and complex novel about love, forgiveness, and one woman’s struggle to find her place in the world.

At the end of her rope, Codi Noline returns to her Arizona home to face her ailing father, with whom she has a difficult, distant relationship. There she meets handsome Apache trainman Loyd Peregrina, who tells her, “If you want sweet dreams, you’ve got to live a sweet life.”

Filled with lyrical writing, Native American legends, a tender love story, and Codi’s quest for identity, Animal Dreams is literary fiction at it’s very best.

This edition includes a P.S. section with additional insights from Barbara Kingsolver, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.

 

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In Animal Dreams, Codi Noline has parted from her beloved sister, Hallie, who has decided to journey to Nicaragua to lend her assistance to local farmers. An act that Codi comes to believe is heroic, in contrast to her own life and her own journey back to the place of her birth – Grace, Arizona. Struggling with memories she can no longer recall, feeling utterly adrift wherever she may be, Codi sees nothing heroic in herself, nothing worthwhile. And bereft of a sense of belonging, she arrives back home already preparing to leave yet again. Unless she can somehow find meaning, not only in where she resides and the people around her, but in herself. This is now the second novel that I have read from Barbara Kingsolver, and I am enchanted. Kingsolver is a wonderful writer. I am stunned at how well she can imbue seemingly simple characters and places and events with such unnerving, yet compelling complexity. Her prose is smooth, her language so real, yet so inspiring. A beautiful work indeed. 

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This book was okay. I found it to be a cheesy love story overall, not really my thing. I also found the cock fighting scenes a little too disturbing.

Contents

The Night of All Souls
3
Hallies Bones
7
HOMERO
17
The Flood
19
Killing Chickens
25
The Semilla Besada
37
The Miracle
52
Poison Ground
55
COSIMA
175
Bleeding Hearts
177
Peacock Ladies at the Café Gertrude Stein
197
Ground Orientation
211
The Bread Girl
233
HOMERO
251
The Scream
253
COSIMA
257

Pictures
66
The Bones in Gods Backyard
80
HOMERO
97
The Mask
99
COSIMA
101
A River on the Moon
103
Animal Dreams
121
Crybabies
139
COSIMA
147
Day of the Dead
149
HOMERO
169
Mistakes
173
The Tissue of Hearts
259
Endangered Places
275
The Souls of Beasts
291
The Luckiest Person Alive
309
Flight
314
The Fifty Mothers
332
HOMERO
339
Human Remains
341
COSIMA
347
Day of All Souls
349
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About the author (2009)

Barbara Kingsolver’s books of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction are widely translated and have won numerous literary awards. She is the founder of the PEN/Bellwether Prize, and in 2000 was awarded the National Humanities Medal, the country’s highest honor for service through the arts. Prior to her writing career she studied and worked as a biologist. She lives with her husband on a farm in southern Appalachia.

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