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.
"Readers will be seduced by [Kingsolver's] effortless prose." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
First off, the reviews praising this book, the story (content) of this book, are spot on... it's GREAT! The story takes us into a world so filled with detail and stories about life and love, that you can't help but be sucked in. The book is borderline genius, plain and simple.
Now comes the part that truly amazes me about this audiobook. The publisher/producer decided to do 2 HUGE things to sabotage the success of this audiobook...
First, between each chapter there are LOUD, annoying bird "songs". Yes, birds chirp, seemingly out of nowhere, right in your ear when you're trying to listen to WORDS. This is annoying, jolting, and pointless. It literally adds NOTHING positive to the book, and only serves to annoy the heck out of you at times when you're really invested in this amazing story.
Second, and this is the big complaint... For some unknown/unexplainable reason, the author is unaware that there are "professional readers" out there that read (perform) many of the books on Audible. She's either unaware of this fact, or worse, she actually considers HERSELF a "professional reader". In my opinion, the latter is unforgivable, if true. Trust me, she's not anywhere close to being a "professional reader". She's terrible. Her character voices are laughable. Her inflections are usually misplaced and nonsensical. It's like having a child (an untalented child) read a book to you, and it sucks. You don't want this author reading ANYTHING to you , ever.
What this supreme misstep does do, however, is show just how incredible the story of this book actually is. Even with (what I would consider) one of the worst narrators in the history of Audible, the story still remains interesting, intriguing, and unique. I loved it from start to finish, and the author deserves ALL the credit for that. If the producers ever acquire the much-needed skill of common sense, they'll hire one of the many "professional readers" out there, remake this, and it will be 5 stars across the board, hands down.
As for now, the best I can say is, if you're willing to go through a bit of torture, a great story awaits you at the end.
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.
"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!
"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.
"A delight from start to finish"
The characters, the language Kingsolver uses, the sense of place, the message about the damage humans do to the natural world and the science all of which is interwoven into a compelling story and beautifully written. I read this book whilst holidaying in area where the book is set and it added to my holiday experience immensely but the book is so wonderful I would have loved it anyway.
I liked it when the links between the characters started to become apparent.
"Wonderful thought provoking book"
I love the characters Barbara Kingsolver has created. they have real depth and they way they interreact and she weave stories around them is very attractive . Also the eco warrior in her provides helpful advice that gives 'ah hah' moments that are worth rewinding to listen again.
I don't think Barbara necessarily does justice to the performance. She is a good reader but she doesn't adapt her voice very well to the different characters so it is a little monotone.
However, why have so few of her books been recorded as audiobooks. I was hoping to download a couple more having enjoyed this one so much.
"Weird but not wonderful"
The voice, the sex scenes which were not believable, the disjointedness
All of it, I really wanted to like it but could not finish it
"I loved it!"
I loved the soft South American accent, the descriptive content of the various lives of the characters. I listened to this whilst walking my dog and became thoroughly absorbed in the gentle story and was sad when it ended.
Yet another beautifully written and poetic book from Barbara Kingsolver. She writes books that you can listen to/read over and over again.
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.
A wonderful tale beautifully read by the author. I haven't enjoyed anything as much for a good while.
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