Monday, 7 February 2011

The Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

I've just finished The Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. It was a re-read, but from so long ago that I really couldn't remember the story. It has three interweaving stories with three main characters whose lives brush against each other. Deanna works for the government as a forestry worker and lives alone in the woods. Lusa marries into a large close farming family and has to learn to fit in. Mr Walker is a widower who lives alone and has very set views on how life should be lived. The book is structured so that each of the characters have their own chapters.

One of the themes of the books is nature, and how ecosystems are self regulating. A loss of a species can be catastrophic for a whole host of other creatures. Humans don't always understand the effect of their actions until it is too late. The characters in the story lose, and gain, and we are shown how they are affected.

I found the book an enjoyable puzzle, trying to figure out what connections there were between the characters and how Kingsolver goes about linking the stories together. I am trying to be a more active reader and be more aware of themes, plot devices and things like that (anything I can dredge up from A Level Eng Lit, 20 something years ago) and this was a good one to start with.

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