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Prodigal Summer | [Barbara Kingsolver]

Prodigal Summer

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2000 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2000 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Readers will be seduced by [Kingsolver's] effortless prose." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1031 )
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4.3 (578 )
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4.4 (571 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charlyne 01-12-13
    Charlyne 01-12-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Trashy"
    What disappointed you about Prodigal Summer?

    Usually the writer has decent story, this one...not so decent.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Hope Kingslover will clean up her stories.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Barbara Kingsolver’s performances?

    Only if it isn't trashy porn


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Why does the author think we want to be listening to an older woman be seduced by a younger man, young enough to be her son?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. S. Brown 01-06-13
    L. S. Brown 01-06-13 Member Since 2010
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Over-awed, hushed respect by narrator"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I loved The Poisonwood Bible almost more than any other book I've read. But I couldn't listen to this book because the author reads her own words with an exaggerated hush and awe that I found too annoying. Combine that with a book that sets out to teach moral lessons, and it just becomes too much. The problem isn't that her moral values are different from mine--they aren't--but writing fiction to teach lessons, rather than tell stories, doesn't often make for great fiction.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 12-22-12
    Sarah 12-22-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best Audiobook ever"

    I've listened to this book ever spring for almost a decade I think! It's phenomenal. Barbara Kingsolver is a master and the characters are incredibly well-developed and lovable. The book is sexy without being the kind of thing you are uncomfortable listening to at the gym. It's inspiring and the bird sounds between the chapter are a delight. If you've never listened to Kingsolver, this is a great introduction and if you've read her other books, you won't be disappointed by this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Jasper Blowing Rock, NC USA 12-04-12
    Mike Jasper Blowing Rock, NC USA 12-04-12
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    19
    3
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    "Wonderful story, perfectly read by the author"

    As an author interested in reading his own work, as well as a Kingsolver fan, I had to try this audiobook. My wife read the print version twice already, and I was having trouble getting into the non-audio version. But when I heard Kingsolver's lovely reading voice, and the subtle way she adapted each character's voice -- especially the southern folks from the mountain, which were NOT cliched Southerners' voices, thank goodness -- I was hooked. I looked forward to my commutes so I could hear more about Lusa, Eddie Bondo, the chestnuts, and the coyotes. That last chapter is exquisite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 11-27-12
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2015

    Life's good when I am listening to a great book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Disappointing"

    Unfortuntely, Barbara Kingsolver did a better job of educating readers about the dangers of allowing species to become extinct than to create a work of fiction. The characters all sounded the same, the book moved along slowly, the characters were poorly developed, and, though the descriptions of nature were often beautiful, the storyline just did not keep the reader interested. I am a nature lover and still could not enjoy this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen Spring Hill, TN, United States 11-12-12
    Carmen Spring Hill, TN, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2015
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    91
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    "Did not want this story to end!"
    What made the experience of listening to Prodigal Summer the most enjoyable?

    Listening to authors read is usually not as satisfying as listening to a trained reader, but Barbara's voice and natural regional accents were perfect.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The strong female characters and accurate up-to-date scientific information about predators and ecology presented in an entertaining way.


    What about Barbara Kingsolver’s performance did you like?

    I loved the leisurely way she read, and her use of authentic regional accents.


    If you could rename Prodigal Summer, what would you call it?

    Coyotes Are Not the Devil!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Temecula, CA, United States 09-14-12
    Lynn Temecula, CA, United States 09-14-12 Member Since 2010

    I listen to books on tape typically about 10 or more hours a week during my commute time. A good book makes you kind of forget your driving!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing. Amazing read by author !"
    If you could sum up Prodigal Summer in three words, what would they be?

    When I first saw it was read by author I worried bu she was perfect!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Moorestown, NJ, United States 08-13-12
    Amazon Customer Moorestown, NJ, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "wordy"
    What did you love best about Prodigal Summer?

    The banter between the two elderly neighbors


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Over too soon. build up slow ending too quick.


    Have you listened to any of Barbara Kingsolver’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    n/a


    Who was the most memorable character of Prodigal Summer and why?

    nanny rawling-


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Western Cape, South Africa 08-11-12
    Amazon Customer Western Cape, South Africa 08-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Succulent, fecund, life!"

    Although I've read this book through several times, listening to it was a novel (sorry) experience. Each word entered my mind more clearly, each word chosen with care, and built the sensory drama of life all around me.

    I enjoyed the author's reading of her own work very much. I remembered having read her essay "taming the two-humped beast,' if I remember right, about writing this book. She generated for me a lavish sense of summer and of the inter-connectedness of all life; deeply refreshing from my arid plot in the now cold, grey Karoo winter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esher Chico, CA, United States 08-06-12
    Esher Chico, CA, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2014
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    69
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    "One of my favorite books, and author."

    This is such a good story, intersecting four main characters, their personal struggles and their need for each other. It is about personal relationships, love, maturity, growth, change, coyotes, and so much more. I loved all the characters and was lonesome for them when the book ended. The story is in many ways simple but at the same time complex. It is about personal growth and changes in each of the characters, how differences in us make us unique and can bring us together. I also liked the author's narration. She has a slow pace which fits the story well. And, I always love Barbara Kingsolvers books, She has a great gift for story and words that bring the story and characters to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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