I can hardly find words to describe how delicious Prodigal Summer was. I have loved everything I’ve read by Barbara Kingsolver, but if I had to pick a favorite by her this would definitely be in the running. The scope of the story-line is small, but the themes are large. It follows three characters in the Southern Appalachians, who are loosely connected, through one summer. Biology and nature play a large role; describing it to my husband I called it an “ode to ecology.” But Kingsolver also goes beyond that: while the non-human ecological systems of predator/prey and mating are important to the story in their own right, they are also a reflection of these processes as they occur between the humans in the story. Kingsolver’s writing is sumptuous and atmospheric and she makes the weather and the setting feel almost like additional characters in the story. I highly recommend this quiet and beautiful novel!