Thursday, 12 June 2014

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

I first read this book in 2000 and decided it was time to re-read it.

Codi has moved back to the place she grew up, where she had never fitted in. This time round she's teaching at the local high school and looking after her ageing father (even though for most of the novel she struggles to even see him once a week).

She gets back together with Loyd, who was briefly her boyfriend when they were teenagers. At the same time she becomes a passionate campaigner on the behalf of the townsfolk whose water supply is being polluted by industry. This spills over into her teaching, where she impresses colleagues and students alike with her 'spirited delivery of a relevant curriculum' while at the same time she feels she's walking a tightrope between telling the truth and inciting an uprising.

Kingsolver is an author who is very alert to environmental issues and manages (usually) to walk the tightrope between informing and ranting.

This is a fascinating novel that explores environmental issues as well as issues of belonging and identity. This time round though I found Codi very irritating and unbelievable, which meant I didn't enjoy the book as much as I had the first time round. Still worth reading though, but probably only once!

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver published by Abacus


The Weaver of Grass said...

I think this is often the case with rereading Juliet - you get deeper into what is written and see things you missed first time round.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hey Juliet!
Read The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven. Liked both. Unsuccessful reading her other books. Although Friend Hattie raves about Animal Dreams -like one of her top ten ever.

Halcyon said...

I will have to see if I find this one on the online library. I'm always looking for something to read!

Owl Who Laughs said...

One of my favorite quotes from that book is (something like), "We live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts."

sage said...

I haven't read it but find it interesting your take on the book the second time around.

Bill said...

back home . . .
a place I have
never been