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Animal Dreams (1990)

by Barbara Kingsolver

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5,201691,656 (4.02)128
"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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    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Aquila)
    Aquila: I can't really say what links these books in my mind, it's just something about the way they make me feel.
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» See also 128 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
I love Barbara Kingsolver's writing style. I just get completely lost in her stories. The main character is perfectly complex and unknowing of where the story is headed. I already passed the book along to a friend. ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |
https://fromtheheartofeurope.eu/animal-dreams-by-barbara-kingsolver/

I've generally enjoyed Kingsolver's work, and enjoyed this too: her second novel (after The Bean Trees), a story of Arizona and Nicaragua in the mid-1980s, where the main viewpoint character returns home to care for her fading father, the town doctor, and rekindles a youthful romance while also uncovering layer after layer of her own history and her family's history; at the same time her sister is in deadly danger in Central America and their home town is threatened by environmental disaster. This is the most overtly political of Kingsolver's novels that I have read, and I didn't feel that the politics merged quite as smoothly with the action; at the same time it's a vivid framing for what is going on for the protagonist and her father (who also gets some tight-third narrative). Generally good stuff. ( )
  nwhyte | May 10, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow getting started but it didn't take too long for me to really want to know what was going to happen with Codi. There were so many little storylines going on. Her relationship with her dad, Loyd, her sister, the town, and mostly, herself. It came to a good conclusion, though not all happy. I felt this book mainly dealt with learning about yourself and accepting yourself. I think Kingsolver is quickly becoming a favorite of mine ( )
  KyleneJones | Apr 25, 2022 |
Even though the world in which this story lives is realized in intricate detail, and I have to praise Kingsolver for this, it is a very introspective book. I wanted more character interaction. A lot of the time I felt trapped in Cosima's head, while lots of interesting characters revolved around. The events roll along at a slow pace. It felt a lot like the events that take place in people's lives day to day. Not many are worthy of describing in detail. The threads dealing with Cosima's sister, father, and boyfriend, could still be addressed through more character interaction, because it's the interaction where things get interesting. I wanted more of that and less introspection. ( )
  lee.gabel | Dec 22, 2021 |
In a letter to Codi, Hallie writes, "'What keeps you going isn't some fine destination but just the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive.'" This is not a love story as the back of the book may have you believe. Sure, people fall in and out of love within its pages, but this book is really about understanding oneself amid a lifetime of memories and secrets...the risks we take not only when we cheat ourselves, but when we find ourselves, too. I read this for the first time two years ago to the month, needing it for the same reasons even though I've changed a lot, and this time got even a little more from it (which is why we should all read our favorite books multiple times!). I'm not going into a deeply personal reflection here in a public forum, but I think this is a loving book for people who've got some reckoning to do, spanning the greater good of the social and physical world to the individual soul. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (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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