Laurel Bradshaw's Reviews > Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
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's review
Aug 16, 2011

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bookshelves: daytimers-book-club, memoir, country-life, gardens-and-gardening, audiobook
Read from August 16 to September 21, 2011

If anyone can make talking about growing and eating your own food for one year interesting, it's Barbara Kingsolver. I do enjoy her writing and her sense of humor. But this book really could have been shorter. Living in Minnesota doesn't lend itself to the kind of extreme locavore habits that Kingsolver espouses without some serious austerity measures in the winter. Nor do I have the kind of stay at home time for all the canning, cooking, cheese-making, etc. Vegetarians be warned that Kingsolver goes into considerable detail about raising animals for food. I did enjoy her stories of turkey mating, though, and found myself cheering on one particularly plucky girl through all of her trials and tribulations, and waiting and hoping with anxious breath for the first egg to hatch.

Hang on for the ride: with characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table.

Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life, and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.


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