Prodigal Summer

Barbara Kingsolver


One of Kingsolver’s greatest gifts as a writers is the ability to weave different stories into one whole. In Thornwood Bible she keeps the voices of the sisters, including one ghost, all so distinctive that it takes only a sentence or two to know which sister is speaking as a chapter starts.

In this book, she tells the story of Deanna, a National Park Service employee who lives alone in the woods and likes it. Her life is disturbed by the appearance of a young man, much younger that she is, who turns her tidy little world upside down.

Lusa. a girl from the big city of Lexington, is forced to find her own way when her husband Cole is killed suddenly in an auto accident.

Garnett, an elderly man, is fretted to death by his equally elderly neighbor, Nannie.

As we learn more of these three, we learn how their lives intertwine. They are all three part of one story, and the revelations of their interconnection is masterly.