Kathryn's Reviews > Prodigal Summer

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
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Jul 16, 08

Recommended to Kathryn by: Tyler & Melanie
Read in July, 2008

Overall, a delightful, thoughtful and refreshing novel. I loved the pure joy, the contagious adoration, for nature — from top predators to insects to extinct trees to blossoming weeds — that shines through the pages. (My only real gripe with the book is that, on occasion, this love morphs into rather a preachy cautionary tale, or scolding—it could still have been powerfully ecological and progressive without the few soap-box passages.) Another message is the sometimes-lovely, sometimes-scary, ever powerful theme that no creature (including humans!) is ever as solitary as we may seem, even if we strive to be so. The characters are so vivid and "real." Worth the read if only for the "Old Chestnuts" section with the most endearingly stubborn and ornery old man you'll ever want to meet! I absolutely loved how the three "separate" stories wove together as the novel progressed, so that in the end it seemed everyone in the small town was tied to everyone else by the glorious web of non-solitariness among us. 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. Very fun, in that regard. A really stellar story, a love-song to Nature and to Life. (Caution to some readers: While never very graphic and always respectful, there are a few passages that are definitely sex-charged--one of Kingsolver's points is how Nature is so fueled by sex, the desire to procreate--and that humans are also part of this.)

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Another of the summer-themed books I'm cramming to read before summer ends! Thankfully, this one is at the library where I'm working for summer school (three weeks) and so it brings a bit of the brilliant summer indoors; if I have to work during summer, at least it's nice to have time to read about summer!
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Comments (showing 1-10)




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Melanie I heartily recommend this, too - it's my favorite Kingsolver.


Kathryn Oh, so good to know! Thank you. We already have a copy in the house, so I shan't let that stand in my way. Now, I just need to find time to read it, haha! :-p


message 8: by Qt (new)

Qt Sounds like a great summer book, and interesting too!


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann I'm glad you're able to read this!!:) I hope you enjoy it.


Kathryn Thanks! I'll be sure to let you know my review. So far, so good.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann Glad you liked this so much! And great review, too! It sounds like it could be an interesting story to re-read because of the "mystery"!


message 4: by Qt (new)

Qt Thanks for the great review; it sounds like a really amazing book!


Heather Crabbe Love this review! I feel exactly the same about this book--my favorite by Kingsolver.


Kathryn Thanks, Heather :-)


Caitlin Schneiderman Hey gals! I really enjoyed this book :) What are some other summer-must-reads ?


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