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Prodigal Summer

Prodigal Summer

Escrito por Barbara Kingsolver

Narrado por Barbara Kingsolver


Prodigal Summer

Escrito por Barbara Kingsolver

Narrado por Barbara Kingsolver

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (158 valoraciones)
Longitud:
15 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Nov 8, 2005
ISBN:
9780060894634
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

Triumphing once again, Barbara Kingsolver has written a beautiful new novel: a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself

Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives in southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches them from an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and her solitary life. Down the mountain, another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer's wife, finds herself in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land that has become her own. And a few more miles down the road, a pair of elderly, feuding neighbors tend their respective farms and wrangle about God, pesticides, and the possibilities the future holds.

Over the course of one long summer, these characters find connections to one another, and to the land, and the final, urgent truth that humans are only one piece of life on earth.

Read by the author.
Editorial:
Publicado:
Nov 8, 2005
ISBN:
9780060894634
Formato:
Audiolibro


Sobre el autor

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

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4.3
158 valoraciones / 97 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    This is a lovely tale of interweaving narratives, taking place in an Appalachian wilderness. Kingsolver's themes are survival of loss, the cycle of fertility, wildlife management - and the author deals with these themes in a lush, vivid, gratifying way. She brings quite a bit of expertise to the technical side, and truckloads of wisdom and compassion to the human side.
  • (5/5)
    This book is so astoundingly good. Not only are the characters totally defined and dimensional, but the science is fascinating. Every woman from puberty to elderly should read this book, and then read it again. It reminds one what it means to be female. Biologically. And somehow all that science speaks to the soul.
    I know each and every woman in this book. It is so lush. That's it! That's the perfect word: Lush.
  • (4/5)
    Kingsolver weaves together 3 stories of love, loss, family and nature. Nature takes a front seat in this novel, weaving through all 3 stories which do not exactly come together, but are related in seemingly mysterious ways. Very enjoyable read.
  • (4/5)
    Kingsolver writes so well to present interesting characters. Her information regarding animals and nature is too detailed, although I did learn from the descriptions. There were too many coincidences, but the book was a worthwhile read.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely outrageous.
  • (5/5)
    Great read. Loved it.
  • (5/5)
    I loved everything about this audiobook. The characters are fleshed out, flawed but admirable, and seem very authentic. There isn’t a lot of action, but the interweaving stories are compelling and I wanted to listen all the time. There is an underlying message about the environment and our natural world, but it did not feel preachy. The writing is superb: rich and beautifully detailed, reading it seemed to involve all of my senses.
  • (5/5)
    Deanna is a lone wolf living and working on a mountain in protected lands, ever since her ex-husband left her. Lusa is in a tempestuous but loving relationship with her farmer husband, Cole, though as a "city girl" with an interest in moths she doesn't quite fit in with his loud, rambunctious family. And Garnett just wants to be left alone to grow his chestnuts, but his annoying next door neighbor Nannie has all these newfangled ideas about organic gardening that are driving him crazy.These three stories intertwine to tell the story of one prodigal summer in Egg Fork, a small Appalachian town. I almost read it as the author writing with love and exasperation about this place and these people. The women in the story especially are strong, opinionated, sexual beings. In fact, you'd hardly think this book came out 18 years ago, because other than a lack of cell phones you'd think it was talking about the present. I know I read the story closer to when it came out, but when my book club read it this month I found myself reading with absolutely no memory of what happened, and wondering if some of the subtext about sex and procreation and nature even made sense to me at the time. I enjoyed the three plotlines, especially Lusa as she comes to realize that there's more to her husband's family than she realized. This was an excellent book club read that provoked a lot of discussion.
  • (4/5)
    I loved this book. It's about bugs and birds and coyotes and nature and the environment and farming and love and sex and death. The sex part seemed a little trashy at first, maybe a little unbelievable. Eddie Bondo? I hate the character's name and his swagger, but ultimately I bought into it. If you like nature, birds or bugs I think you'll love it.
  • (3/5)
    I wanted to like this book. Kingsolver's attention to detail could have paid off, and she did engage me in the plot about Lusa, but the characters were more often than not cartoonish and implausible. While this could have perhaps worked in one of the three story lines, having each main female character serve as a mouthpiece for expounding ecological principles made this read like a polemic. In her rush to prove that everything in nature is more complicated and interrelated than we think, Kingsolver's arguments are actually reductive, not exploring the economic and political realities at the intersections of human and natural environments and in agricultural communities. I'm not a fan of politics dressed up as fiction, regardless of whether I agree with the politics or not.This is the first book by Kingsolver that I've read, and judging by the reviews here that acknowledge this book is quite different from her others, I may give her another shot. She clearly has some talent; in this book, it all just seems in service of proving her points, rather than being open to any real mystery of connection--rather a letdown.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite novels of all time, partly because of the ecological messages, partly because of the great writing of BK.
  • (5/5)
    Prodigal Summer is a love note to nature - to human nature and all parts of the physical world, as it evolves, destroys, is reborn. The story grows from the struggles of individuals to a sweeping tale of survival and of place. It is distinctly American and almost jokes about how varied our ideas of "rural" and "city" can be. Read this book if you like to think of nature as an animate, breathing thing - how all parts of the living world fit together ecologically, how order can blossom out of free will, how everything is mortal.
  • (5/5)
    Just lovely. Three stories are followed. First, Deanna's love for nature overwhelms her tolerance for humanity, so she lives as a park warden on a mountainside, away from human contact. We learn what happens when her peace is disturbed as a young man stumbles upon her home. Next, we watch Lusa as she tries to figure out life as a new widow living far from home on her husband's family's farm. Finally, cantankerous old man Garnet Walker starts to confront the reasons he's always feuded with his next door neighbour. The mountain, the plants, and the animals are just as much characters in this novel as Deanna, Lusa and Garnet. The language is poetic and the scenes set are beautiful and rich. Each of the stories kept me interested; I was disappointed at the end of each chapter as I had to leave those characters behind, but my disappointment soon faded as I was quickly caught up in the next story. Of course, all three stories or their characters are tied together at the end, but more loosely than you might expect.If you liked The Poisonwood Bible, you'll like this one, too, and vice versa. Really enjoyable read, and I also learned a few things about ecology, too.
  • (4/5)
    It's a rare thing for me to read a book twice and enjoy it as much the second time around. Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer is that sort of novel--a book in which one can immerse oneself completely. There is, as always with this writer, a subtext of conservation and living lightly upon the earth but she manages to avoid becoming overly "preachy" in this particular work. Essentially, the story is about women and their spirit and courage in meeting the problems life hands them. Weaving through the stories is a discourse on their relationships with the creatures that share the planet with them. One observation there; Kingsolver's female characters always seem essentially the same to me. Their circumstances differ but their "voice" is always so similar that the characters are practically interchangeable. Smart and sweetly, gently obsessed, they are all equally engaging
  • (5/5)
    The chapters titled 'Predators' are about a Forest Service/Park Service employee who studies top-chain predators, and who finds a surprisingly suitable mate in an itinerant hunter. 'Moth Love' follows a farmer's wife becoming a farmer, and 'Old Chestnuts' two cranky old neighbors growing trees (chestnut and apple).Style never seems to intrude on the stories, which is a pretty good trick for a book that interweaves different characters without ever having them meet. I didn't even notice the last lines and the beginning lines are almost identical.Kingsolver's respect for the non-human characters in the book is immense, and her detailed knowledge about biology impeccable. Prodigal Summer could be a textbook about ethics or Appalachian environmental history, except it's too well written.
  • (5/5)
    One of my all-time favorite books... This is a warm book about the sometimes surprising connections between individuals and the possibility for human growth through different stages of life. There are three different story lines that together present a picture of humanity as a part and manifestation of the greater natural world. All that, and it's funny, too.
  • (1/5)
    My least favorite Kingsolver to date.
  • (4/5)
    Prodigal Summer is the first Kingsolver book I've read and I don't think it will be the last.I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had enough environmental preaching in it for me to appreciate it, but not so much that someone not as into that would be turned off. Even though it was a novel, it was really like three short stories broken up by each other, as the chapters alternated between three different stories that were slightly woven together, but really could have stood on their own if needed.The character stories were different enough that I found myself eagerly awaiting getting past two chapters to get back to the storyline concerning my favorite (a cranky old widower). Kingsolver is a talented writer and her characters are well-developed and the reader might even learn a little too! And yet another book that lets me know how much we're missing when we lost American Chestnut trees.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this novel! Just like the other two books by Kingsolver which I've read, it took me several pages to get into it; but I was soon hooked. I think her way of dropping the reader into the story midstream, then allowing the background and details to evolve, make it more like getting to know people in real life. My only disappointment is that it ended.
  • (5/5)
    Kingsolver has a magical way of subtly interweaving characters and story lines to illustrate the theme of interconnectedness. Solitude is an illusion--nothing's separate from anything else. Her style is a celebration of language....would make anyone want to read and write as well! Like a short story, every word in this novel is important to the meaning...an analytical reader's paradise! She utilizes language to create structures that parallel the points she makes about nature and life in general--lush with literary allusion and rich metaphor.

    What I can take away from this novel is a new understanding of nature (like a science textbook but delightful to learn!) including a lot of technical information about specific insects and animals. I was overcome with emotion midway through the novel as I realized what was happening--how everything was going to come together. This novel inspires hope for the future and faith in the universe, as problems and people in the novel are the types we see every day. You can put this book down with a renewed sense of purpose and fate; believing that there may really be reason behind tragedy and seemingly random choices and chance occurrences. I was in tears a few times while reading...
    I loved the humor in Walker's character...he reminds me of my grandfather although there's no hope for my grandfather having such an epiphany. Kingsolver showed me the truth of some statements that people have made to me about my choice to become vegetarian. There are some things that people can say that I'll just ignore with contempt for such stupidity....but I am now able to see the truth behind the claim that things are not that simple....being a bleeding heart animal loving vegetarian is not the answer. Everything is so much more complex than that!
    I felt that the ending provided total closure...every character accounted for and the big picture was obvious. I loved how the story ended just as it began like all natural cycles. A brilliant author and a beautiful, attitude-altering novel.
  • (5/5)
    Kingsolver's characters get me every time - her method of slowly revealing who they are and their relationships with one another is superb. She's marvellous at place, too: in this case, farms and forests in America... A wonderful, engaging read.
  • (5/5)
    Summary: Prodigal Summer is an interweaving of three storylines, all taking place during the course of one summer in and around Egg Fork, Tennessee. In the chapters entitled "Predators", Deanna Wolf, forest ranger and wildlife biologist lives alone in a small cabin in the National Forest, watching the changes wrought in the ecosystem by the return of a predator - the coyote. When she meets Eddie Bondo, a young rancher who hunts coyotes for sport, they are powerfully physically drawn together, despite the ideological differences that threaten to tear them apart. In "Moth Love", newly-married and newly-widowed city girl Lusa is left alone on her husband's family farm, surrounded by unfamiliar and hostile in-laws, and facing the prospect of carving out a place for herself in farming and in her new family. In "Old Chestnuts", Garnett Walker, a retired agriculture teacher whose pet project is the cultivation of a blight-resistant American Chestnut tree, butts heads with his free-spirited and utterly confounding neighbor, Nannie Rawley. Though initially seeming quite disparate, these three stories slowly reveal their connections, ultimately resulting in a vibrant tapestry rich with luna moths and magnolia warblers, coyotes and chestnut trees, life and death and humor and love and place and home and belonging.Review: Prodigal Summer has been called Barbara Kingsolver's "sex book," both disparagingly and with affection. There certainly are a few "on-camera" sex scenes, although they're not written particularly graphically - Kingsolver herself has said while the themes of sex and fecundity are central to the novel, perhaps the most graphic sex scene is a dream sequence between a woman and a giant moth. However, to call it her "sex book" is to dismiss it too easily, and to overlook what I think is the point of the story. It's only about sex insomuch as everything in life is about sex - the struggle of each individual to pass on their genes, and leave something of themselves to the next generation. Calling it her "biology book" would be better (more on that in a minute), but the main theme of this book isn't sex, or biology - it's interconnection. This is most immediately apparent in the interlacing of the three storylines, which seem totally unrelated at first, but slowly yield up their connections, both major and minor, revealing the infinite number of tiny but not insubstantial ways that each of us touch the lives around us. But more than just personal interconnection, it also speaks to the connection of people to their environment, of the threads that bind us to the non-human lives around us - and of them to each other - resulting in a world that is a shining mass of sparkling threads of connection, where each life - moth, tree, or human - affects every other, and each life matters. The ultimate result of this finely-drawn sense of connection is that Zebulon County emerges as a place with a sense of Place; essentially another character in its own right. I first read Prodigal Summer in the spring of 2002, long before I'd ever been to Appalachia, but Egg Fork and the surrounding mountains were more real to me than any place I'd encountered in a novel before. Now, six years and several summers of working in the southern Appalachian mountains later, I can say that Kingsolver absolutely gets it right. The forest, the small town, the farms, the people, the animals, the mountains - it's all there, vividly drawn, and pulsing with Life. Her characters are similarly real; by the end of the book you feel like you've known these people your whole life - not people like them, but them. Even with only a third as much space per story as in a traditional novel, Kingsolver still manages to draw complex, multi-layered, and lovably flawed people who feel as though you would recognize them walking down the street.I will admit that I was predisposed to like this book - Kingsolver has a degree in biology (my own field), and was a science writer before becoming a full-time author. You can see the traces of this in all of her books, but nowhere is it brought to the fore like in Prodigal Summer. At the same time, the biology isn't blatant - it simultaneously motivates the stories without overshadowing them. Subtle points about ecology, evolution, and natural history are woven into the the overall framework, complementing and informing rather than detracting from the human drama.I said that this is the book that made me love Kingsolver as a writer, but I'd like to do that one better. This is the book that makes me want to be a writer; this is the book I wish I could have written. I've read it enough times that I know some passages and bits of dialogue and turns of phrase by heart, but every time I read it, I'm left in awe of her powers of story construction and character development. Every time I read it, I'm left with a renewed sense of wonder in the the power of Life, and a renewed appreciation for what a miraculous, sacred place and community we are all a part of. 5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Highly, highly recommended, obviously.
  • (5/5)
    If I were forced to pick my favorite book of all time, this would be it. All her fiction and essays are great, but this one is the best.
  • (5/5)
    I LOVED this book! I can see how some readers might have been put off by the beginning of the novel, is a little strange with the she-wolf business. But oh! Once the characters and stories develop! I never wanted it to end. Beautifully written, wonderful sense of place, loved how Kingsolver intertwined nature themes into each character's personal story. One of my all time favorites!
  • (3/5)
    This was rather thought provoking. "There's always more to a story than a body can see from the fence line" reminded me of Atticus Finch and and the general tone is empathic throughout. It's about the interconnectedness, both of people and the environment. It's also about the necessity to find out, to learn, to understand the web of connections and dependencies. Another layer is about the need to take control of your own destiny, to make your own decisions and not let the surroundings and circumstances dictate to you. I put it down knowing I would read it again.
  • (5/5)
    Prodigal Summer is one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors. It tells the story of three different people over the course of one summer in Appalachia.Deanna Wolfe, works for the Forest Service and lives an isolated existence tracking and protecting coyotes. Lusa Landowski is a young entomologist who moved to a small farm to be with her now deceased husband. Garnett Walker is an 80 year old man trying to bring back the chestnut trees to his region and battling with his neighbor Nannie, whose organic farming methods threaten his project.Kingsolver deftly weaves these stories together with an appreciation and understanding of humans and their impact on the environment and nature. Kingsolver has a way of drawing you into the story and making you care about her characters. I would put Kingsolver in the same class as Alice Hoffman in her ability to tell a story that makes you feel different, feel moved by reading one of her novels. I even got a biology lesson during this read, but I was so enthralled with the story that I didn't even notice I'd learned anything until it was all over :) Kingsolver writes beautiful and poetic prose but always has important themes within. This is a lighter read than The Poisonwood Bible. If you have never read one of her books, this is a good one to start with and I highly recommend it
  • (5/5)
    I had previously read another of Kingsolver's books, The Poisonwood Bible, and really enjoyed it. I picked this one up for half price. I'm thrilled I did! It's a wonderful tale following the lives of different women who are all connected in these unassuming ways much like the ecosystems they are all attached to. It combines ecology and romance in a intriguing way. The prose is lovely and has a unique voice for each woman. Gah! I can't get enough of this author!
  • (4/5)
    This book tells the stories of three groups of people, intertwined. In 'Moth Love' there is an exploration of the aftermath of death - the discovery of other sides of the story, so to speak. This was probably my favorite storyline told. I love Lusa's building of relationships and finding her place in the lives of her in-laws. 'Old Chestnuts' is humorous - two old people 'feuding' about their views on caring for the natural world around them, but also healing old animosities. 'Predators' was my least favorite story line, mostly because Deanna has tried so hard to cut herself off from other people and deny her needs for companionship - she is always fighting her relationship - and there is a fundamental difference of opinion getting in the way too. A couple of things got in the way of my enjoyment. Ms. Kingsolver got a little heavy handed at times over environmental issues, though her explanations of things like insect bloom and coyote populations were interesting. Also, having two women aware of their pheromones and that they were attractive to men because they were fertile was a little much. Overall, there's much to enjoy in this novel.
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written, completely engrossing tale of one summer in the southern Appalachians.
  • (5/5)
    This book was great to read in May; to listen to all the birds start singing and watching spring bloom while reading her evacotive descriptions was great.