Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Prodigal Summer

Author Barbara Kingsolver tells the stories of three residents of Zebulon County in Kentucky: Deanna Wolfe, a wildlife biologist who works for the National Forestry Service and prefers to spend her time high on Walker Mountain, rather than in town; Lusa Maluf Landowski, a "city" girl who came from Lexington and married Cole Widener, a life-long member of Zebulon County; and Garnett Walker, another life-long resident of the county who has lived as a widower for the past eight years. Their lives are intertwined, although they don't all really realize it. Each has their own particular story to tell, but their stories are meshed with those of the other characters.

This is a love story (or stories, if you will). It's also a story about friendship, and trust and betrayal, and new beginnings, and so many other things. While telling her stories, Kingsolver seamlessly weaves in lots of information about insects, and cattle, and coyotes, and habitats, and evolution, and biology, as the characters are all educated people who share their knowledge with others. You can learn a lot about many subjects just from reading this book.

Kingsolver certainly has a way with words. Her language is lyrical and poetic and just plain fun to read. I want to write like her when I grow up!

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