*Deanna-reclusive, anti-social nature woman who lives in a cabin in the mountains and works for the Forest Service.
*Garnett Walker-widower and chestnut farmer. Also, a very closed-minded, stuck in his ways, old guy.
*Lusa Landowski-former entomologist at the University of Kentucky. She falls in love with Cole Widener, quits her job, and moves to the Widener family farm. Cole soon dies in a car accident and Lusa's left with the dilemma of making the farm profitable and trying to fit in with Cole's not so welcoming family.
These three seemingly unconnected people end up having their lives intertwine and they see themselves change over the course of one summer.
This was one of those slow moving books that took me a while to get into and I really only kept with it because I love Kingsolver so much that I felt I owed it to her.
This book is 440 pages long. I would estimate that at least half of that is descriptions of wildlife or various flora and fauna. If you want in depth descriptions of coyotes, chestnuts, goats, birds, apple trees, leaves, grass, weeds, moths, bugs, snakes, flowers, etc....then this is the book for you. As for me, I found it all very boring. Which is sad because I actually really liked all the characters and their very distinct personalities and I was interested in what they were going through. And once I realized-about three fourths of the way through-that all the characters would connect in a way, I was excited to see how it would all play out. Unfortunately, so much of this was lost amongst the overly detailed descriptions of nature. At times I felt as if I was reading a field guide or a textbook. After a while I found myself skimming over a lot of the lengthier descriptions.
Prodigal Summer definitely wasn't my favorite Kingsolver work, but I still really love the way she puts together a story and I respect that she must do a mind boggling amount of research on each novel. Ultimately, even though I really wasn't feeling this one, I still think it's a well thought out, beautifully written piece of literature. Just one that I can't wholeheartedly recommend.