|FABER & FABER|
the guardian Sat 31 January 2009
Another smalltown America saga, set this time in the Appalachians, where, says one of the residents of Egg Fork, "everyone within 16 miles of here is uncle or cousin to you someways". Through her two feisty heroines - solitary divorcee Deanna Wolfe, who has been observing wildlife for two years in a mountain cabin, and city-born entomologist Lusa Landowski, mourning the untimely death of her handsome young farmer husband - Kingsolver, who was a biologist before she became a novelist, pleads for the ecosystems of the mountains and farmlands to be left intact. Nature must be protected from pesticides and human predators. When you kill a coyote, says Deanna it's not just one death - "it's a piece of the world turned upside down". What really hooks you is that it's the author herself reading so passionately about the scent of honeysuckle, the flight of lunar moths or a black snake slowly dropping like someone pouring molasses from a roof. A truly unforgettable audio.