What did you do while nature showed her scorching face this week? My great solace in times when it's too hot, too cold, too stormy to go out is to read, read, read. Of course I do read in tranquil times too, I confess. This past week when it was 97 degrees in Kingston's Target parking lot, as soon as I came home, I pulled off the 'best loved books' shelf, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.
Of course I read it from the library in 2000 when it first came out. Then I bought a hard copy. I'm glad I did for the front-papers are drawings of the butterflies and moths described ecstatically in the book.
I think I've read everything by
"author Barbara Kingsolver, a writer praised for her 'extravagantly gifted narrative voice'" -- NY Times Book Review.But this time, I read the book and listened to Kingsolver reading it aloud on audio tapes as well which I ordered through the Mid-Hudson Library System on-line.
Summer's such a glorious story, teeming with characters like those we know, each couple an opposite drawn masterfully together like magnets. You know, opposites attract.
Then there's the theme of the fruitfulness of the Earth in the clutch of Global Warming, or should I say Global storming? The plight of the local farmers wed to cash crops like tobacco, and the sister with cancer, the young widow, the abandoned wife, the fun-loving coyotes. When Kingsolver posited why the top predators of their species food chains, bears, wolves, coyotes, humans, don't meet for summit conferences, I suddenly thought of our bear-coyote-cat issues differently. Predators keep prey under control. No comfort to my friend whose soybean container was sheared to the dirt by local deer.
I so highly recommend this book. It could be read every summer; it's so rich I don't tire of it.
Let's start a blog-dialogue on summer reading. I'm open to suggestions – especially if the book is a masterpiece of writing like Prodigal Summer.