Karah's Reviews > Prodigal Summer

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
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's review
Jul 06, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Recommended for: Trisha

Calling all nature lovers! I really loved this book and think that if anyone loves summer and living things and plants and animals and learning about nature, they will love it too! It wasn't exactly a page-turner in that I had to pick it up every second I wasn't reading, but it was extremely interesting. It took place in the summer and ends in autumn so it was kind of neat to start it towards the end of summer and end it as fall was beginning. If you've never read Barbara Kingsolver, her books are filled with biology lessons and are so neat to read.

This book centers around three main characters leading separate lives in one Southern mountain valley. Their lives revolve around the nature that surrounds them (in some way or another) and in some way, the three are all connected to eachother. I highly recommend this book if you want a novel, a little unknown biology knowledge, and a few things to think about regarding right & wrong with the way we treat our Earth.

Lusa, the young 20-something widow is left to take care of her late husband's farm and still manage dealing with all of her nosy sisters-in-law and country folks who think they know what's best for her. She ends up befriending her young niece and nephew (and eventually adopting them when her sister in law becomes ill) and teaching them all sorts of interesting facts about insects and plants and nature.

Deanna, a 40- something who lives alone in a small hut on the mountain working for the forest service. She's fine living in the absence of humans and is huge friend of coyotes--in a world where every farmer is ready to hunt them all. When Eddie Bondo shows up on her mountain, they connect and have a summer long love affair. It came as no surprise to me that she was pregnant when the book ended because of their blatant physical attraction to each other.

Garnett, an old 80 something man who seems to be owly and upset with the world. He's hell bent on spraying his pesticides and cannot stand his neighbor, Nannie Rowley, who let's the Beetles fly free. Through the course of the book, we see Garnett start to open up a bit--at first he's really difficult to understand with his old-man thinking. By the end, he and Nannie have formed a friendship which we thought never possible.

The three are connected: Garnett's disowned son is the father of Lusa's young niece and nephew (their grandpa). Lusa and Deanna share several deep rooted beliefs about pesticides and nature although they don't know each other. Ironically, the green chair that once belonged in Lusa's in-laws stateroom now adorns the porch of Deanna's little cabin in the woods. Deanna grew up without a mother but her father's long time girlfriend was nannie Rawley, the neighbor of Garnett.
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Deepa Ah! I never got that about the green chairs :D even tho I wondered how come the chairs seem to similar! :D

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