The intricate web of an alive and evolving ecosystem is explored in depth from three different viewpoints in this engaging, amazing novel. Kingsolver takes an Appalachian mountain valley?a place of small farms and forests?and explores the myriad dramas, both micro and macro, that take place in one ?prodigal summer.? From humans and coyotes, moths and phoebes, wild honeysuckle and Chestnut trees, the theme here is life in all its messy, amazing, procreating, preying, mutating, and adapting glory.
Kingsolver?s intricate knowledge of the natural world and rich descriptions are unsurpassed and bring to mind naturalist author Peter Mathiessen. Ms. Kingsolver, however, has just as good a touch with the people in her story. Her characters are sympathetic, deep and flawed. They are mere humans living in a small valley, trapped in a web, where everything is interconnected. It?s a place ?where every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot, a tug of impalpable thread on the web pulling mate to mate and predator to prey, a beginning or an end.?
Though at times she flirts with preachiness, overall Ms. Kingsolver strikes a perfect balance of biological detail, natural dramas and human relationships. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the natural world.
Once in a decade or so, you get to read an unforgettable novel that is both intelligent and heart-rending. The Poisonwood Bible is such a novel. The writer, Ms. Kingsolver, has the insight of a mystic, but writes in a language that touches your heart as well as satisfies your intellect. This is a first rate novel about life, its foibles and aspirations; about the missteps and the courage to be human - all written in beautiful and credible prose. This is an exemplary novel. Simply beautiful and brillant.
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