On Tuesday September 9th, the Food for Thought Book Club met at the Doylestown Bookshop. "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver was the center of discussion.
"Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives inhabiting the forested mountains and struggling small farms of southern Appalachia." Through three separate stories, the author examines man's relationship to the natural world.
"Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches the forest from her outpost in 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 confound her self-assured, solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain, another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer's wife, finds herself unexpectedly marooned in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land. 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 complexities of a world neither of them expected."*
Prodigal Summer challenges readers to change the perspective through which they view the world. Looking at the world through another creature's perspective allows for true understanding and love. In one sense it urges the audience to realize humans are not the only species to call this planet home. To that effect, all actions (individual and collective) have important consequences on other forms of life. The book speaks to the challenges of making change in the world when people of divergent opinions meet.
As always, these themes prompted much great discussion over snacks brought to be shared. Meet next month at the Doylestown Bookshop for "Mind over Medicine" with a guest presentation by Psychotherapist Connie Guerin.