Customer Reviews for

Prodigal Summer

Average Rating 4.5
( 177 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A terrific book altogether! It made me hungry for a sequel to discover how the many touching characters fared ultimately. The future is hinted at, temptingly. I wanted more.

All of the characters came alive as I followed their storylines, intersecting then beginning the underpinings of merging into families. The only part where I felt a trifle indoctrinated was with the need to preserve predatory animals. Deanna went on and on, reinforcin...
All of the characters came alive as I followed their storylines, intersecting then beginning the underpinings of merging into families. The only part where I felt a trifle indoctrinated was with the need to preserve predatory animals. Deanna went on and on, reinforcing a zealous theme. I got it, I got it!
Each of the characters was totally enticing. Did Luba make a good profit on her lambs? Did Little Ricky get a girlfriend or become a world traveler? How did Crys fare after her mom died? Did Deanna stay with Nanny and raise the baby in town? Did the cayotes live in peace?

posted by caththegreat on December 9, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

WASTE of Anybodys time!!!

I have read several of ms Kingsolver's book. Her best book by far it "The Poisonwood Bible" which I have read several times. But this book is totaly disappointing. She has three female characters who are so much alike that they are practically identical. She gets on her...
I have read several of ms Kingsolver's book. Her best book by far it "The Poisonwood Bible" which I have read several times. But this book is totaly disappointing. She has three female characters who are so much alike that they are practically identical. She gets on her soapbox and lectures and preaches page after page...chapter after chapter..about the evils of nonorganic farming and killing wolves. OK...fine by me. But over 300 pages of that doesn't make a story and never will. Then...when you think the story is FINALLY going somewhere (around page 315 or so) she just stops. Like she ran out of paper! Ridiculous waste of time. Do NOT buy this thing!

posted by mamieGS on February 18, 2011

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  • Posted August 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    excellent read

    Prodigal Summer is one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors. It tells the story of three different people over the course of one summer in Appalachia.


    Deanna Wolfe, works for the Forest Service and lives an isolated existence tracking and protecting coyotes. Lusa Landowski is a young entomologist who moved to a small farm to be with her now deceased husband. Garnett Walker is an 80 year old man trying to bring back the chestnut trees to his region and battling with his neighbor Nannie, whose organic farming methods threaten his project.


    Kingsolver deftly weaves these stories together with an appreciation and understanding of humans and their impact on the environment and nature. Kingsolver has a way of drawing you into the story and making you care about her characters.


    I would put Kingsolver in the same class as Alice Hoffman in her ability to tell a story that makes you feel different, feel moved by reading one of her novels. I even got a biology lesson during this read, but I was so enthralled with the story that I didn't even notice I'd learned anything until it was all over :) Kingsolver writes beautiful and poetic prose but always has important themes within. This is a lighter read than The Poisonwood Bible. If you have never read one of her books, this is a good one to start with and I highly recommend it
    http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    Some kind of Summer

    Yes, it is detailed and lengthy as other reviewers suggest; but that is part of the beauty of the novel.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    Another winner from Kingsolver

    I could not put this down! What a wonderful book about people learning to change and who find love in unexpected places. I will never look at nature the same way after reading this book. I learned so much. I highly recommend this fascinating story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2005

    Thoroughly enjoyed it

    This book took a while to get into, but once I got interested I was hooked!! The book was a page turner and gives a good life lesson on life and love

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2004

    Second Time's A Charm

    I thought this book was infectious as I got into it... finally. I was supposed to have read this at the beginning of this past year for a school project, and ended up only reading the Garnett Walker and Nannie Rawley story line due to time constraints. I was pleased to be able to really get into the individual stories. I think that Kingsolver, while simply trying to do her part as a writer and give us something to attatch to, has a tendency to fill her novels with so much unnecessary detail that I just about go insane. I can't help but feel a little put out by any writer who does this, because it almost makes me feel like they assume that my imagination is so worn out or, conversely, underdeveloped that they have to beat me over the head with how each strand of hair looked on a character's head. I liked the Garnett and Nannie story line the best, by far. It was the most interesting, weaving a slightly romantic factor into these two crotchety waring neighbors, and bringing into the story some real issues having to do with insecticides and whatnot. The Deanna story is beautifully written, though again, I must stress the overuse of fine detail. Last but not entirely least, the Lusa Widener (Landowski...whatever) story line seemed a little frivilous and seemed to have been written for the audience who is traditionally more interested in romance novels. Overall, how the three stories intertwine and resolve themselves is not only convincing, but enthralling. I loved the feeling I got from reading this novel, though some of the feelings I got WHILE reading this novel were not as satisfactory.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2003

    Moth Love

    I personally thought this novel was excellent. I have not previously read any novel by Barbara Kingsolver, but now I have the instinctiveness to do so. This novel gives the reader a real in-depth idea of what ails minorities. It shows how the main character in her habitat and explains what caused her to be the way she is. This book was beautifully handcrafted with detail and experiences many people can relate with. I feel this is an exceptional book for adults as well as young adults to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2001

    A good story with something to say

    I greatly enjoyed the characters, situations and especially the setting and descriptions of the natural world. If you care about nature and the consequences of humanity's interactions with it, this is a book for you. If not - get with the program!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2001

    A great story with many twists

    I thought overall that this novel was pretty good. It was interesting how Kingsolver found a way to intertwine the major characters of the novel while still progressing with their story. I did think the ending could have been a little more memorable though. I would suggest this novel to anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2001

    I preferred Poisonwood Bible

    Another great book by a talented author,but I preferred Poisonwood Bible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2001

    Procreation Summer

    I had a slow start as it took me a while to understand the author's style and organization. Once I did 'get it,' I enjoyed the book. The story is thick with lust and love and reproduction. I could feel the humidity, see the thick foliage, and sense the pheronome mist rising from everyone and everything. Subtly erotic. A good book to read in the cold, bare winter, as the images of humid, lush summer are vivid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2000

    Good - but not her best

    I enjoyed Prodigal Summer - especially the letters by Garnett Walker and Nannie Rawley. Once again, Kingsolver creates wonderful characters woven together well. I love her since of place. I grew up in the southern Appalachian mountains, and thought she did a fine job of describing the particulars. However, here, the characters are not as memorable and the story is not as 'connected' as some of her previous works.

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