Back Cover Blurb: Barbara Kingsolver's fifth novel is a hymn to wilderness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel's intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place.
I liked the strong women characters and the way they handled their crises; I liked all the hot, humid, summery references; and I liked how the story lines gradually wove together, almost imperceptibly at first, to come to the best possible conclusion. Really, I couldn't have asked for a better ending. It wasn't necessarily a happy ending, just a really good one. I put the book down and immediately started missing it. How do authors do that?!
There were, however, a few small things I had issues with. *spoilers* The portrayal of the town curmudgeon, Garnett Walker, could not have been more stock saying things like 'tarnation' and 'new fangled'. Oh please. *eye roll* He was annoyingly overdone. And then the love stories. I guess I could see where it was going, but I would have liked Deanna to give Eddie the boot looong before he finally left claiming he'd 'met his match'. Who was this guy anyway? Go away. And then Lusa with her overbearing in-laws. Why did she stay on the farm after Cole died? I would have liked to have seen her forge out on her own, away from there. But she stayed and successfully worked the land on her own terms even gaining the grudging respect of her in-law's. Good for her.
So, yes. A good summer read while I'm waiting for summer to begin.