Saturday, June 9

Bibliophile [Prodigal Summer]


Read this book.

Like now.

Here's the blurb, which I'll try to start sharing more often. I hate reading a book without knowing the general theme, and I've found myself google-ing every book I plan to read on my Kindle before I get started, just to have some context.

Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives inhabiting the forested mountains and struggling small farms of 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 the forest from her outpost in 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 confound her self-assured, solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain, another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer's wife, finds herself unexpectedly marooned in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land. 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 complexities of a world neither of them expected.

Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate overtakes a green and profligate countryside, these characters find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place. Their discoveries are embedded inside countless intimate lessons of biology, the realities of small farming, and the final, urgent truth that humans are only one part of life on earth.

Alright. I found this novel to be the most wonderful mix of humanity and ecology ever. I'm not a bug-and-mountains kinda person, but this book takes a deep look at the natural habitat of the forest, the challenges of farming (age-old battle between "nature" and chemicals, pesticides and their effects, etc), the inter-connectedness of the animal and human universe. I have a greater appreciation for predator and prey, survival of the fittest, animal life-cycles, natural food-chains, and so much more. 

Her writing is so beautiful, I was highlighting passages ever few chapters and even made D listen as I read them out loud. This is my favorite type of writing, which I also found in Sense of an Ending and Bel Canto: prose that is lyrical, metaphorical, and philosophical. The kind of prose that you can steal a sentence from and make it a mantra. Passages that you can ruminate on for hours, that you need to share with friends, that make you pause.

She's written a few other popular books, like The Poisonwood Bible and Bean Trees (I didn't love either of those the way I love Prodigal Summer, though). A great read!

I just started a 766 page monstrosity, so look for that in a MONTH.

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how you like dem apples?