Just finished Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer from 2000. I am a great fan of her work and can't believe it took me so long finally read this. Perhaps child rearing is the culprit.
This book falls into the category I love the best. Character driven fiction where they all have their own story and by the end they have intertwined and affected each other in strange and powerful ways. It is like a puzzle that reveals itself slowly. Or a tapestry being woven. How about a map unfolding to show the big picture. Ok, enough of that. But this book is beautifully written.
It is broken in to three points of view that present their chapters one at a time. As each chapter started I was certain that I liked this storyline the best...until the next chapter. Predators - deals with Deanna, a ranger in the National Forest. More at home with nature and solitude than with anything else - until visitors show up. She surprises herself with the choices she makes. Moth Love - introduces Lusa, a brilliant academic, who changed her entire life when she married a farmer with a large (invasive) family. What will she do when her life takes another unexpected turn? Old Chestnuts - describes Garnett and Nannie - neighbors and old rivals from way back. There is more to their story and their feud than even they know.
Each chapter is filled with biological facts so interesting and pertinent to the stories that they are seamless additions. I really learned a lot from reading this book.
It is a book about choices, fear, family, love, watching and waiting.
I'm glad I waited for this book (even if it was for some unknown reason). This book earns my first star rating in 2005.