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Animal Dreams (1990)

by Barbara Kingsolver

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4,993641,539 (4.01)117
"Animals dream about the things they do in the day time just like people do. If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life." So says Loyd Peregrina, a handsome Apache trainman and latter-day philosopher. But when Codi Noline returns to her hometown, Loyd's advice is painfully out of her reach. Dreamless and at the end of her rope, Codi comes back to Grace, Arizona to confront her past and face her ailing, distant father. What the finds is a town threatened by a silent environmental catastrophe, some startling clues to her own identity, and a man whose view of the world could change the course of her life. Blending flashbacks, dreams, and Native American legends, Animal Dreams is a suspenseful love story and a moving exploration of life's largest commitments. With this work, the acclaimed author of The Bean Trees and Homeland and Other Stories sustains her familiar voice while giving readers her most remarkable book yet.… (more)

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» See also 117 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Read, favourite. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 8, 2020 |
between 4 and 4.5. i think i need to do a reread of all of her work because in my memory this is the one i liked the least and it is *so good* so what does that say about all the others?

i started this book without my full attention, which is too bad, because there's a lot here and it's just so well done, and i'm disappointed in myself for missing some of it.

she's so good. this is beautiful. her language is great. the surface story - about self-perception and fitting in and finding your family and your people, finding yourself in unexpected places and maybe even out of wreckage - is fantastic and enough all on its own. but the book goes so much deeper even than that, and talks (as she always must, and i love her for it) about more global issues. this one is about nicaragua and the contras and how the us government funded them. and the pueblo and navajo and their views on so much, especially their love and respect for the land and history. in contrast, of course, to the white people's view of it.

it took me a little while to get into this but i really think that was just me, and once i did i loved it. except i guess i'm not entirely sure why loyd would have fallen for codi in the first place, but otherwise this was just great.

"Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth but not its twin."

"She said, 'You can't let your heart go bad like that, like sour milk. There's always the chance you'll want to use it later.'"

"You learn to read so you can identify the reality in which you live, so that you can become a protagonist of history rather than a spectator."

"Family constellations are fixed things. They don't change just because you've learned the names of the stars." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Sep 10, 2019 |
Amazing book. Refugees and issues with destruction of countries has not changed in 30 years. She writes good books ( )
  shazjhb | Nov 2, 2018 |
For anyone considering the audiobook version of this, I’d definitely say go for it. Barbara Kingsolver narrates it herself and brings a level of insight and understanding to the main character, Cosima, that I don’t think a professional narrator could do. I’ll admit that some of the family issues were a stretch for me and I’m not sure I would have finished it if I’d read the print version. But the author ’s soothing voice and expressive tone made this a pleasure to listen to. ( )
  wandaly | Oct 19, 2018 |
I've had this book on my shelf now for years, always meaning to read it but never quite getting there.

I am so relieved that I have done so now. This book is hard to describe, and yet it is beautiful and sad and funny on so many different levels, but you can be guaranteed that it will touch in some fashion. ( )
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Barbara Kingsolver is one of an increasing number of American novelists who are trying to rewrite the political, cultural and spiritual relationships between our country's private and public spheres.
 
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In memory of Ben Linder
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His two girls are curled together like animals whose habit is to sleep underground, in the smallest space possible.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Animals dream about the things they do in the day time just like people do. If you want sweet dreams, you've got to live a sweet life." So says Loyd Peregrina, a handsome Apache trainman and latter-day philosopher. But when Codi Noline returns to her hometown, Loyd's advice is painfully out of her reach. Dreamless and at the end of her rope, Codi comes back to Grace, Arizona to confront her past and face her ailing, distant father. What the finds is a town threatened by a silent environmental catastrophe, some startling clues to her own identity, and a man whose view of the world could change the course of her life. Blending flashbacks, dreams, and Native American legends, Animal Dreams is a suspenseful love story and a moving exploration of life's largest commitments. With this work, the acclaimed author of The Bean Trees and Homeland and Other Stories sustains her familiar voice while giving readers her most remarkable book yet.

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