I'll admit I'm not so much into nature-related books, but this tale took me completely by surprise, and a very pleasant one at that! My first book by Barbara Kingsolver and a discovery in every sense. Three different stories run on parallel grounds in the space of a summer and unbeknownst to the characters, they are all intertwined by the magic power of love and nature.
Three tales that gracefully connect with each other without ever being confusing for the reader, starting from Deanna, a reclusive forest ranger in the Appalachian mountains who loves her solitude and job but is taken aback by the unexpected meeting of a young hunter with whom she falls, reluctantly, in love. Then there are Lusa and Cole, newly married and living on his inherited farm. A twist of fate and Lusa's life changes dramatically and unexpectedly. And finally, old and widowed Mr. Walker (my own favorite character), a grumpy man in his eighties obsessed by his neighbor, Miss Rowley, whose attitude to life in general combined with her numerous apple trees seem to be there just to annoy him.
These are the cores of the tales, but all is layered in a triumphant description of mountain/farm/country life.
Different subjects are explored, loss, love, affection, strength, fragility, our place and meaning on this planet, as important and valuable as the one of a single little bug living under a leaf. All is delivered by a poetic and effective prose, embracing colors, smells, sensations and feelings in a powerful, yet delicate, way. Some episodes are definitely humorous, others so wise and profound, they bring tears to your eyes. Very touching.
A wonderful tale which celebrates life in all of its forms, a positive message and a hidden reminder that we should all be more appreciative of what, and whom, we are surrounded by.