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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 (880 )
5 star
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4.3 (442 )
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4.4 (438 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 10-12-08
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 10-12-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
    ratings
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    Overall
    "Amazing!"

    I selected this book just because Barbara Kingsolver wrote it - I didn't read a word of description or reviews, so I didn't know the first thing about it. When I got to the second chapter, I said to myself "Oh no! It's short stories!", but it turned out to be three stories, and in Ms. Kingsolver's singular style, each is different and delightful, and they come together so sweetly in the end, but don't let me spoil it! I have listened to it more than once, and just love it. As usual, it is so well researched that I finished it with a real appreciation for predators, a hunger for apples, and a burning desire to own a goat! This is one of those books that I needed to own on paper as well, so I could more fully appreciate some of the best parts - such as when Mr. Walker "gets himself a snapping turtle", and his correspondence with Nannie Rawley. This book is worth every penny and every minute of your time.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karyn Westport, CT, USA 10-03-06
    Karyn Westport, CT, USA 10-03-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    18
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    "Breathtaking"

    This has to be one of the most beautiful, touching, inspiring books that has ever been written. It's hard to find books that make you think and feel without manipulating you or dragging you through somebody's terrible, painful tragedy. This is one of the rare few. Kingsolver is idealistic and yet clearheaded. The first half hour or so is a bit slow as you acclimate to the storylines, but then it's impossible to turn off. I loved these characters so much, and grew so attached to them (even the difficult ones), that I listened to the last few words with tears in my eyes. Kingsolver narrates earnestly, endearingly, doing justice to the local dialect.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian sandy, UT, United States 12-21-09
    brian sandy, UT, United States 12-21-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favourites"

    I love this book and just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of great reviews. I am guesing that while all her books are important to her that this one is her most personal. She writes so well that just listening to how she strings together words makes this a good audio book . However it is so much more than this. I find myself listening to it over and over. Sometimes it for the story, other times for her knowledge and passion for her subjects, and finally, sometimes for the simple pleasure of her narration and how it breathes life into all of her characters.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Seiad Valley, CA, USA 05-20-06
    Jennifer Seiad Valley, CA, USA 05-20-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Great Book!! Great Audio"

    This audio book is excellent. I have listened to several audio books a month for years. I have a huge commute. I had read the book a couple of years ago, and it was very good, but the audio is excellent!!! Barbara Kinsolver is the reader and she brings a lot of energy and heart to the interpretation of the novel. I feel as if I understand it better for having her read it to me. It is beautifully produced with songbirds in the background between chapters; this audio book is truly a work of art. This is definitely a 10 !!!! I would highly recommend this audio book. It is one of my favorites of all time.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey 02-13-09
    Corey 02-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Book"

    After reading the book 5 years ago and loving it, I decided to listen to it. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the characters alive. This is one of the most beautifully written books I've read or heard. Highly recommended.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Kenilworth , IL, USA 11-22-09
    Kathleen Kenilworth , IL, USA 11-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "beautiful narration"

    This is an intriguing book on the subjects of coyotes and predators, a different view, while the parallel women, one a solitary by choice living as a ranger in the wild and the other solitary by rejection chooses to be a farmer rather than a scientist/academic. Both share reticence, opposition and progressiveness re nature. Both eventually also come back to children, joining the wildlife quest to reproduce, protect young and be part of the society. Once again Barbara Kingsolver presents a very complex story and idea with amazing detail and intelligence.
    The author's reading also reflects her understanding of sound and language. In particular she is able to make the accent of the country people into an extreme but softened voice. Whereas most readers seem to adopt simply a harsh generic twang for all southern accents. I feel exactly the opposite of the criticisms of Barbara Kingsolver as reader (particularly after her book 'the lacuna'). Perhaps subtle and sensitive is not understood today.
    Ironically this seems an underlying theme of this author's writing.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline 03-12-09
    Caroline 03-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great southern story"

    I loved this book! The author's narration was "spot on" for the mountain accents and the characters were so interesting and intertwined, I was sad to have this book end. I highly recommend it!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Blackheath, Australia 09-20-09
    Chris Blackheath, Australia 09-20-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful"

    Wonderful story read beautifully by the author. One of Audible's best.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucinda Chicago, IL, United States 12-24-09
    Lucinda Chicago, IL, United States 12-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    5
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    "Wonderful"

    I could listen to Barbara Kingsolver's voice all day every day! I love the story. The scientic details she includes make it really fun. Really enjoyed this story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverley Zabow Neve Poleg, Netanya Israel 03-20-09
    Beverley Zabow Neve Poleg, Netanya Israel 03-20-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Best"

    No one writes like Barbara Kingsolver...loved it. She also has a great reading voice. Wish they had more of her books on Audible.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 71 results PREVIOUS128NEXT
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  • G. Broadway
    Shropshire, England
    12/2/07
    Overall
    "truly beautiful"

    This is my third Kingsolver book and I have to admit that after listening to this wonderful audiobook that I will now be going on read everything she has written.
    Prodigal Summer is a rich, complex tale that is expressed with great insight into our humanity and the larger world of which are such an integral part. Kingsolver is a very gifted narrator and to let her words wash over me during this telling - well for me I could ask for nothing more.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie
    United Kingdom
    3/6/13
    Overall
    "Superb characterisation of people and place"

    I have become a big fan of Barbara Kingsolver. Her stories are so varied; there's no formula here. She draws deep and engaging characters and clearly knows, or researches, her locations in great depth. This is my first audio of hers; at first I thought the drawl would get on my nerves, but in fact it suits the story perfectly - and even better, it's Barbara herself! Enjoy a wonderful escape, and then go get the rest of her books!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Naomi Fein
    ireland
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Beautiful nature descriptions..."

    another beauty from Kingsolver, I'm half way in, and totally consumed by the beautiful description of moths, trees, animals and human emotions. the way she weaves the story and guide you through it, building reach worlds and pictures... better than any movie I ever saw! I highly recommend so far.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leanne
    London, United Kingdom
    8/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully!!"

    Yet another beautifully written and poetic book from Barbara Kingsolver. She writes books that you can listen to/read over and over again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Liz S
    8/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    I didn't want it to end. I wondered if I would find her voice a little slow at first but unsurprisingly it worked perfectly for the story which I just wanted to go on and on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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