Such a beautiful story! I think Barbara Kingsolver creates such a sense of place in her writing. Some of my favorite passages: "What keeps you going isn't some fine destination but just the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and you ask yourself, 'What life can I live that will let me breathe in & out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods?'" (p. 224 of my book); "...the very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under it's roof." (p. 299 of my book) And I loved Codi's impassioned "rant" about environmental concerns -- and the way she managed to have an impact on her students... Just a wonderful book!