Summer Reads: Prodigal Summer

This book was recommended to me by a friend when I realized that the more books I acquire, the less I know what I want to read. And I have gotten A LOT of new books recently, along with multiple B&N gift cards. It’s a problem. I knew I wanted to read something that I enjoyed and was well written. And this is what I got.

In Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver intertwines three stories of people from the same small southern town. Usually I don’t like the intertwining model of alternating characters every chapter. I like being able to get to know the characters that I read about, and I think it is easy for things to get lost or uninteresting when characters are constantly being switched around and you only have one chapter of them at a time. However, I do like seeing how authors tie their book together and this is a good format to see that happen.

I was not expecting to like Prodigal Summeras much as I did. It might have been because I read it during summer and it is a very summery outside crunchy novel. I don’t usually think of myself as a crunchy person.

What I really liked about it was the relational focus of the novel. I’m an extrovert/past Psych minor who likes people and books, so that’s not too surprising. Also, Barbara Kingsolver’s use of language and description  is a-mazing. That’s what really drew me into the book. Kingsolver describes both the naturally beautiful, and the normal and plain scenes of life as equally elegant in her prose. The fact that her three characters are all at different stages of life has been well used in books, but she freshens up the trope to make it not a cliche.  She gives her reader a unique view which is always nice in literature, and ties in with the nature in the book. She is definitely a knowledgeable nature lover.

If a book is well written, uses fresh language, and has good description then I’m hooked. That’s all I need.

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6 thoughts on “Summer Reads: Prodigal Summer

  1. I’m always amazed with how much I like her books. I always go in thinking they’re going to be really dense and then like you, I’m surprised by how much I love them. I haven’t read this yet, sounds like I should add it to my summer list!

  2. Yes! Definitely a good summer read. This was the first one I read that really “counted”. I think I read The Bean Trees one summer in Middle School but I remember not getting into it too much. I should try it again sometime…

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