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Prodigal Summer is book about the laws of attraction, richly laced with pheromones and complicated relationships all occurring on or around Zebulon Mountain in rural Virginia.
In this book we meet Deanna who lives on the Mountain, a forest ranger who prefers to be hidden away from the world of people she cannot trust. She cares deeply bout the forest and the delicate cycle of life between predators and prey. Her life changes drastically when a much younger, handsome stranger named Eddie Bondo suddenly appears one day.
We also meet Lusa, a beautiful and smart city transplant with a brain for science who marries a man from the country and must find a way to integrate into his family and the new life she has chosen, despite unforeseen challenges.
And finally we meet Garnett Walker - a bitter old man who spends most of his life trying to erase the sins of his family. A religious and fastidious man, he's quite sure that he's living his life the way everyone else should until a neighbor shakes up his world view.
If you've read Barbara Kingsolver before, you'll recognize her style of rotating stories and perspectives in each chapter. And, if you've read Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, this one feels like a precursor, as her characters speak in a way that support her ideas on keeping things local, farming in a natural way and respect for the intricate connection of all living things.