Title: Animal Dreams
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Genre: Adult fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
FTC Disclosure: I bought this one with my own money WAY BACK in the early 1990s!
Summary (from the back of the book): Animals dream about the things they do in the daytime, just like people do I 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 she 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.
Review: I was nervous to re-read this book. I first read it in the early 1992; I had recently finished my Masters Degree and had just figured out that I wanted to be a teacher. I needed a job for a year or so until my credential program began and applied to work for our State Senator. In my interview the woman asked me what my favorite book was and I easily answered "Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams"! She had just read it and loved it so hired me on the spot! For almost 20 years I have said this is one of my favorite books. I was so afraid it wouldn't live up to my memories of it.
Well, honestly, for the first 6o pages or so I thought I was going to rate this book a 4 or 4.5. A good rating, but not what I remembered. But by the time I was done it was a 5! The books glides and is graceful in its storytelling. Each character is separate and distinct, yet connected to the whole in the way that we all are in our real lives; they are believable and likable. I felt like I was reading real life. I cried, I laughed, and I really felt for the characters as they agonized over death, their pasts, new relationships, and how to make things right.
Banning: "Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for this and 13 other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to 'vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed.'" (American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression)