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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.

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    29

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A vehicle for nature's pulpit

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, there is some lovely language in it and I am an advocate for all of the saving nature principles, but it was too preachy for me. I read a book to be entertained and have really enjoyed Ms. Kimgsolver's other stories, especially The Poisonwood Bible. This one seemed to be contrived to get her points across.

Would you be willing to try another book from Barbara Kingsolver? Why or why not?

Yes, but not if she's narrating it. There are some really good narrators out ther and I wish she would go In that direction instead.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Yes, unfortunately... I love the concept of the author reading their own story, but Ms Kingsolver doesn't have the voice for it. I enjoyed the birdsong as I felt like I was in the woods!

Was Prodigal Summer worth the listening time?

I would have liked it better had she developed her characters more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • J-9
  • Cary, NC, United States
  • 08-24-14

Totally enjoyed this book - but not for everyone!

What did you love best about Prodigal Summer?

I loved the three ongoing stories and I loved Garnet. What a prude.

What about Barbara Kingsolver’s performance did you like?

I thought Ms. Kingsolver did a great job with the narration. I really enjoyed her inflection and her southern accent.

Any additional comments?

I have to say that I was hoping for a different ending. Each story line wrapped up - sort of - but not completely. I almost feel like Ms. Kingslover needed to just finish the book and I thought it could have gone on a little longer and wrapped up a little better. <br/><br/>This book is not for everyone. You need an appreciation of nature. Ms. Kingslover had to do an incredible amount of research to write this book. I learned a lot. I really enjoyed this book and I'm sure I'll listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • WORCESTER, MA, United States
  • 02-26-14

Kingsolver's reading does justice to her writing

Would you listen to Prodigal Summer again? Why?

Its hard to find a better writer than Barbara Kingsolver. Audible's version has Kingsolver herself reading the book. Because the book has passages that require the accent of the blue ridge mountains, it is a bonus to have the author read it herself. Kingsolver's voice suits the material so well, you would think she speaks the lines out loud before writing them down. <br/><br/>This book excels in the same way Flight Behavior does - fusing the sensations of the natural world with the characters. Beautiful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • julie0
  • Commerce Twp, MI, United States
  • 06-21-13

Booooring! Zzzzzz!

Wow, I really had high expectations of this book after reading the reviews. What a dissapointment. First, the author should really leave narrating to professionals. It was painful to listen to and all of the characters sounded the same. Second, the characters were just uninteresting and I became quite apatheic about what happened to them. The stories just dragged on without any real plot development. I actually struggled to finish listening to it. I won't be listening to another book by this author. I definitely prefer a little more excitement, or, at least, more exciting characters in my books.

P.S. The bird noises became increasingly obnoxious

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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DO Not Buy

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Horrible book. Like listening to someone read bad poetry.

What was most disappointing about Barbara Kingsolver’s story?

Everything. The sounds in the background were horrible Who needs to have birds chriping when someone is reading.

How could the performance have been better?

To never have preformed at all.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

NO

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 09-02-11

my favorite

I'm a fan of all of Kingsolver's work, but this delicious novel remains my favorite. beautifully written and read by the author. a jewel

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tara
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 03-16-11

Boring!

So boring! I just stopped listening after a while. Totally different from the Poisonwood Bible which I loved!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic!

After thorougly enjoying "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" I am just starting to discover Barbara Kingsolver's books...and boy am I glad! She is an incredibly intelligent and talented writer. With 'Prodigal Summer' I found that, at first, I was not quite as taken as I had expected I'd be (based on the rave reviews). However, once I allowed the story to unfold, I found myself completely sucked into the magical, but very real world that Kingsolver has created through this story. It is a book that is richly textured and has so many themes intertwied and layered that it is sure to offer something for everyone....perhaps especially for those of us who love and wonder at the marvel of the natural world around us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful