Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

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When I first began reading Prodigal Summer I was a little put off. All the main characters (with the exception of Garnett Walker) are nature loving cougars. I had a hard time relating. Kingsolver was a little preachy at some parts as well. That is something I cannot stand; if I wanted preaching I would have picked up the bible. However, once I had gotten past my initial issues with the book, I really enjoyed it. The writing itself is very lyrical and soothing. Nature itself acts as a character, with apparent emotions and whims. My only huge complaint about the book would be the last chapter. It seemed a bit trite and forced. I wished she had just cut that chapter out. Another, Smaller complaint was the two dimensionality of the character of Deanna. She just was a little too wild to be real. Lusa, Nannie, and Garnett are much further developed, thus more endearing. Despite these shortcomings, Prodigal Summer is a vibrant book with utterly human characters living in a world who clearly has a mind of its own.

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One thought on “Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

  1. I agree entirely with your concluding line. However, I didn’t find the final chapter forced. After all the build-up of nature as a character, I thought it a very appropriate way to end the novel. It, and the book as a whole, shows that humans are not the only creatures with thoughts and processes and complete lives going on inside.

    I could relate to Deanna in her love of nature and animals. However, I did find her a bit annoying at times and difficult to relate to on the whole. Also, I don’t think Lusa is a cougar, though she certainly does have many life experiences to sort through. Her and Garnett’s storylines are my favorites.

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