The Prodigal Summer

Published: 2021-06-29 06:54:15
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Category: Book Reports

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Kingsolver, B, Prodigal Summer
New York, 2000
The book, Prodigal Summer, explores the happenings of three people during one summer in Appalachia. Kingsolver uses the interesting technique of presenting which perspective is going to be shared, by three different titles. Each headline states an aspect that the three protagonists finds especially important; Predators, Moth Love, and Old Chestnuts.
Deanna Wolfe, a wildlife biologist who observes from a secluded mountain area, recognizes and respects how important Predators are, aiming her the heading 'Predators'. Lusa Landowski, a recent widow, is fascinated by the tiny lives of the insects that surround us, her preference being the moths, granting her 'Moth Love'. Garnett Walker, irritable, old man, perseveres to reestablish the American Chestnut, crossing remains with the blight resistant, Chinese Chestnut, in turn christening his chapters 'Old Chestnuts'.
Deanna meets Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who was brought up upon hating predators, especially the animal whom she respects dearly; coyotes. Throughout the book, she tries to reason that every predator is a population control, trying to prevent another family from being massacred. Down the mountain, Lusa tries to carry-on the farm after the tragic death of her husband, absorbing the landscape which holds millions of creatures and coinciding with her in-laws. In the same town, Garnett tries so hard to tolerate his, apparently, erratic neighbor, Nannie Rawley, who he constantly battles upon the matters of significance, morale, and growth. Although the three do not compliment each other, their summer entwines together no less, becoming a Prodigal Summer.
Branch of Biology
I believe that the main branch of biology is Ecology. The book explores the concepts of how certain changes will effect a species, for better or worse. Deanna's whole fascination on carnivores is based on the fact that they use predation to control populations of thriving herbivores, effectively controlling the world's rodents, insects, etc. Another example would be how sometimes carnivores produce more offspring with hunting, like the coyotes that Kingsolver uses in the book, because of efforts to combat the extinction the species faces.

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