By some magic I recently decided to reread Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Swept down into the moist, green of an Appalachian holler, I experienced the author’s luscious language of procreation, love and desire. Only a biologist with the writing skills of Kingsolver can blend fiction with science and get away with it. Readers barely notice they are being instructed gently through storytelling to consider what may be lost under our feet through our inattention and by our misconception of where we humans fit into the larger scheme of things.
The third sentence of Prodigal Summer is the whole of the story:
Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot, every choice a world made new for the chosen.
Nature is not simply wallpaper in our lives. Kingsolver weaves a story of interrelationships reflective of the true reality of all living things: we are utterly dependent on each other.
6 thoughts on “Return to Prodigal Summer…”
Susan, I have read other Kingsolver books, and you have inspired me to read Prodigal Summer. The sentence your quote reflects my thoughts many times when hiking the mountains of Appalachia.
You will love it. I had the feeling that Barbara was having a really good time writing all about love and biodiversity in the same tale. Enjoy…
I recently listened to Prodigal Summer, and author Barbara Kingsolver narrated the book herself, doing a marvelous job. I’d read the book before, but hearing it in its entirety in B.K.’s soft, up-east accent was just the very best. It is my life-list’s favorite book!
What a great idea, the book on CD. Maybe for a long road trip like I am getting ready to make for Thanksgiving at my son’s and daughter in law’s….thanks for the tip!
I know everyone likes The Poisonwood Bible, but Prodigal Summer has always been my favorite book of hers. I hope to make it to reading Lacuna one day as I know you’re a fan.
Lacuna is much like Poisonwood; on a deep plain connecting points in time past and present, invoking spiritworld…Frida Kahlo would have loved that.