Prodigal Summer

Recently we read The Road for book club. Since I read it (and saw the movie) a few years back, I thought I'd listen to it during my daily commute to remind myself of the story. Man, what a different take on the story.  I have been listening to books more regularly now, listening during my commute. This was the first book I read and then listened too. And frankly, it reminded me of why I prefer to read. Reading a story, I am able to create my own impression of the characters, I decide what their voices sound like - and because of that, I decide the attitude of a relationship, of a conversation.  Reading The Road, I thought it was a story of a loving father caring for a son. Listening, the reader gave the impression of an annoyed father, a bothered person. I liked my initial impression from reading much better. Boo for the interpretation of this book by the director and reader of the book on CD.

But Prodigal Summer. I listened to this story, and I liked this listen.  The reason?  It was read by the author.  I may start looking for books read by the author. I'm OK if it is the author reading, because it is their story, and I think I'm OK with hearing the story as they meant for it to be told.  Sometimes it is difficult to listen to a book that contains multiple storylines, but this one was easy to listen to. I never felt lost. (I could have done without the sounds of nature between each chapter though - if you listen, you'll know what I mean.)

A reason for my enjoying this book is because I like the simple life the characters lived. I think I envy a simple life.  And I do recognize that the life is just as difficult as mine, just under different circumstances.  I don't think it a life without trials, certainly not. But being a small town girl, I miss that life. Their life is much more small town than mine was, but it's that feel of neighbors knowing each other (really knowing each other due to conversations, and not what they read on social media.) Neighbors watching out for each other when something looks off (and not, yup, back to the social media, just posting on FB "Hey, does anyone know what's happening at so-and-so's house?") They actually go over and ask.

I just enjoyed the three stories. The author gives you characters you enjoy learning and reading about, stories you enjoy reading the progression of. A book you are happy when you set down, be it mid-story or at the end of the book. Oh wait, the end of the book - it was sort of weird. I'm not sure if the author felt she needed to sort of wrap things up since she wasn't ending the stories. It wasn't really necessary, but oh well.


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