Monday, January 26, 2009

Prodigal Summer

I am a huge fan of Barbara Kingsolver, and it seems like I might just read all her books in the period of a couple of months--although for most of them it's a re-read. This one is my hands-down favorite of all her fiction. It is dear to my heart. It's about the connection of all living things and how fragile it is, how easy to upset. It's about challenging the human mistake of thinking that we are more important than other living things. It's about human relationships with other humans and with nature. It's about respecting nature. And it's also about some real, true people, people you care about, people you could meet on the street or at your local library.

This is the book I chose for my book club this month, and I have to say, no one else LOVED it the way I do. But I feel like much of this is due to the strong ties I have to the ideas in the book, the relevance it has to my life, and the affinity I have for this author, and the fact that, for example, one of the girls who didn't like it is just in a completely different place in her life than I am in mine. It was great to get to discuss this book with others, though, because I have a hard time figuring out how "outsiders" might view this book. To me, it's so lively and brilliant, and I love how it combines the author's passion for the topics with the truth of a really great novel. So it was good to hear that others picked up on the little details the author drops in your lap and then ties together later, and that the dialogue is for the most part very real-feeling. And interesting and fabulous to get to discuss the ideas of the book more in-depth. We had a great discussion on predators and why humans fear them and want to eradicate them and how damaging that practice is to the whole world, humans included.

One of my all-time favorites, still. LOVE IT!

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