This book is so good in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. The reader who is also the author gives a sterling performance.
The character development (which is so often lacking in so many of today's works) is fantastic. The viewpoint of rural versus urban is also fantastic. I know, I was born rural and moved to the city. The culture shock is quite shocking. Now the reverse is happening, urban or suburban raised going to the country and watching that has been very interesting! Anyways I absolutely love Barbara Kingsolver and read every word she writes. I think she is one of the urban to rural people with the ability to understand and adequately show to all of us the difference in life experiences and knowledge. From this book I get the feeling that she understands the rural poor, especially those who get stuck in 18th century thought and stay there. I meet them weekly in my trips to the local feed store. These denizens hang on to their Fox News with all their might in the hopes that all is well.
The part which is a phenomenal accomplishment is the part where the author through her main characters explain climate change to others. It is the best rebuttal to all the naysayers I have read and Ms. Kingsolver should be the voice for that type of education in all media and everywhere. She gave many acknowledgements in her book to many different people, including Bill McKibben, but her clear explanation of climate change and its proofs left me awed and I had read Bill McKibben.
At an emotional level, the death of a species is another horrible theme of the book and maybe even a little hope is there for overnight or at least one or two generation evolution. Lyall Watson has written a book on quick evolution and proved it. There is the same hope here.
This past year, a single monarch feasted on a sunflower plant in my yard. I live north of the fire ant invasion now in Texas and in a much earlier year I happened outside just as the large monarch butterfly population was heading towards Mexico via the Texas Hill Country 30 miles north of San Antonio and 150 miles south of where I now live seeing the single monarch. That vision near San Antonio of the delicate filtering of millions of these beautiful butterflies I count as one of the premiere memories I have. The other was when about 20 whooping cranes passed overhead on the way to the Texas coast also near San Antonio, Texas.
I ordered milkweed seeds from the group that advocates planting them via the net and I didn't get them in the ground. I will this year though before I plant anything else come spring. Since non-green government took over the State of Texas, they are spraying herbicides on the freeways and roadsides again, but for a while no spraying was done and no mowing was done where a field of flowers lived. Ignorance and stupidity keeps washing back into politics. We are all monarch butterflies because of it. This summer was mostly over 100 degrees with very little rain. I grow my own, but the only garden plant that survived were the weeds. I have learned to love weed salad!
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