A Review of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
February 11, 2017
The incredibly witty yet educational novel (and slight cook book), Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver gives readers a personal insight on the struggles and successes of a family’s journey to becoming more connected with the earth and the food they eat. Kingsolver welcomes readers to connect with her unique family of four, as she tells the story of their trek from the upscale urban lifestyle in Tucson, to start a new life in an Appalachian farm town. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is not like any ordinary book: where there is one author who tells the story through the entire piece. Rather, she includes the personalities of each family member. Whether it be stories of Lily, her youngest daughter, and the chickens she raises, or the short chapters from her teenage daughter Camille about growing up in such a food-loving family, or the factual side of Steve; their characteristics blend beautifully, and create for a deeper message.
Kingsolver and her husband Steve both grew up on farms, so the story is coming from a personal viewpoint. Because of this, her writing style is assertive, but not preachy. Kingsolver gives details about the importance of becoming more food-conscious; especially when it comes to buying foods locally rather than industrially. The imagery she uses makes it easy to join in on her journey, whether it be picking asparagus in the spring, or smelling the tomatoes in the summer, Kingsolver’s passion radiates through her stories.
Each page of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle provides a different outlook on foods entirely. For instance, before opening this book, I did not know much about the lifestyle, and the information I did know was not having me support it too much. Kingsolver however made me realize just how important the simple task of buying organically, and locally, can help ourselves and the community. This book could be recommended to anyone with an interest in wanting to learn more about the food world, becoming more farm-friendly, or even anyone who enjoys a humorously factual novel.
Kingsolver, Barbara, Steven L. Hopp, Camille Kingsolver, and Richard A. Houser. Animal, vegetable, miracle: a year of food life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. Print.