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Extended Audio Sample Prodigal Summer: A Novel, by Barbara Kingsolver Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (47,292 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Kingsolver Narrator: Barbara Kingsolver Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Triumphing once again, Barbara Kingsolver has written a beautiful new novel: a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself

Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives in southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches them from an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and her solitary life. Down the mountain, another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer's wife, finds herself in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land that has become her own. And a few more miles down the road, a pair of elderly, feuding neighbors tend their respective farms and wrangle about God, pesticides, and the possibilities the future holds.

Over the course of one long summer, these characters find connections to one another, and to the land, and the final, urgent truth that humans are only one piece of life on earth.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] extravagantly gifted narrative voice.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Ms. Kingsolver’s writing is generously well-grafted; choice moments...radiate from nearly every page.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • Prodigal Summer is full of...tenderness, humor, and earthy spirituality...Kingsolver’s dialogue is absolutely natural, often funny, and sometimes heartbreaking.” 

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “As illuminating as it is absorbing...Resonates with the author’s overarching wisdom and passion.”

    New York Times

  • “[Kingsolver’s] sexy, lyrical fifth novel renders our solitary yearnings with a finely trained eye and ear.”


  • “Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words.”


  • “A blend of breathtaking artistry, encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world, attention to detail, and ardent commitment to the supremacy of nature...Barbara  Kingsolver remains a voice readers have come to respect and love, a writer we will keep reading for as long as she continues to grace us with her bounty.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A warm, intricately constructed book shot through with an extraordinary amount of insight and information about the wonders of the visible world.”


  • “Readers will be seduced by [Kingsolver’s] effortless prose, her subtle use of Appalachian patois. They’ll also respond to the sympathy with which she reflects the difficult lives of people struggling on the hard edge of poverty while tied intimately to the natural world and engaged an elemental search for dignity and human connection.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Kingsolver’s] prose is lush and spellbinding, her humor subtle, and her story compelling, intelligent, sexy, and cathartic.”


  • “Compelling…Lives that are less simple, and far more passionate, than they appear.”


  • “Kingsolver deftly addresses the struggle between mankind and nature...A lush...novel of love and loss in Appalachia.”

    Us Weekly

  • “There is no one in contemporary literature quite like Barbara Kingsolver. Her dialogue sparkles with sassy wit and earthy poetry...Kingsolver is one of those authors for whom the terrifying elegance of nature is both aesthetic wonder and source of a fierce and abiding moral vision. She blend[s] her extravagant narrative gift with benevolent concise humor. [Kingsolver] treads the line between the sentimental and the glorious like nobody else in American literature.”

    Amazon.com editorial review

  • “Kingsolver’s lyrical prose and superb storytelling are perfectly matched by her gentle narration with its core strength and emotional fluency...Kingsolver, who grew up in eastern Kentucky, ably shades voices with the nuances of regional speech and also captures the voices of ‘outsiders.’ Her narration skill and compelling story make an unforgettable audio experience.” 


  • “Kingsolver reads her own words as lyrically as she writes them. Very highly recommended.” 

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by DeAnna | 2/4/2014

    " Wonderful stories woven together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Melanie | 2/3/2014

    " I loved this book. Just downloaded it to have something new to read on vacation. It was stories within stories, so much information about bugs, coyotes, farming, ecology, biology, psychology, which, if I'd seen it described this way, I'm sure I'd never have chosen. The writing is excellent, beautiful descriptions, rich characters set within an amazing amount of information. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Carolyn | 1/30/2014

    " I have really enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's books but this is one long polemic on organic farming, back to the land holier than thou living. Not even a good enough story to make up for it. A waste of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mia | 1/24/2014

    " I very much enjoy Barbara Kingsolver. . . "

  • > Show All
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