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Book Summary: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – A Year of Food Life

Fast, processed food is king in the United States, and many people have completely lost track of their agricultural roots. The environmental and health effects are becoming more obvious each year. In the wake of such devastation, one family decided to do things differently. In this book review, discover how Barbara Kingsolver and her family dedicated a year of their lives to eating locally and providing for themselves. You’ll see that eating locally is not only possible — it’s delicious.

An adventure in local, sustainable eating.


  • Are interested in supporting local farmers
  • Want to start gardening
  • Enjoy family projects

Maybe you live in the city. Maybe you live surrounded by vast fields of green. Either way, you have the opportunity to sow your own seeds, to cultivate and grow them and, finally, to eat them. And it doesn’t stop there. You also have the opportunity to stand against the horrific methods of big food corporations.

Pretty cool to be able to serve home-grown veggies when you invite your friends over for dinner, right? And let’s see how happy they’ll be when you assure them that everything is pesticide-free. There probably won’t be much left over.

In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the authors pull you into the universe of growing your own food. You’ll learn when to sow what and when to expect what to grow. Starting by revealing some truths about today’s food industry, they give you an immediate incentive to grow your own veggies and to go hunting for that asparagus yourself – that is, outside the supermarket.

Book Summary: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - A Year of Food Life

In this summary of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver, you’ll discover

  • why people still buy the products of big food corporations;
  • what to look for when you go hunting for asparagus; and
  • which plantings to expect during the months of spring.


After building a home and a life in Tucson, Arizona, for many years, Barbara, Steven, and their two daughters moved from the desert to the lush Appalachian mountains.

Tucson had nearly everything they needed to thrive, from restaurants to museums to parks. The one thing it lacked was food — local food, that is. Most everything you eat in Tucson has been shipped in from somewhere else, packed into refrigerated trucks to survive the journey. Even the water is pumped from other, nonrenewable, sources.

Barbara and Steven recognized the alarming rate at which agricultural knowledge is disappearing from American minds. Most people now have no idea how their food is grown or raised, let alone where the ingredients originated.

The more we have delegated our sustenance to the food industry, which relies heavily on nonrenewable fossil fuels to deliver our meals to the dinner table, the more horrifying the consequences we have faced. Americans are growing sicker by the day with chronic illnesses like diabetes and obesity. Processed foods are killing our environment, our farming industry, and our bodies.

For the first time in America, the newest generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than the one before.

Barbara and Steven dedicated one year to feeding themselves, and their children, with meat and produce that was raised and grown so locally they could name the farmer responsible. When possible, they themselves wanted to be the ones doing the growing and the raising.

Nonrenewable sources are dwindling, and people are opening their eyes to the dangers of the American food crisis. The next generations may have to once again learn how food goes from the garden and the pasture to the dinner table, and this may just save them.

The food industry has made people forget all about real food.

Living in the city for so long has removed us from the process of food creation. Foods now have bizarre, made-up names; foodstuff is imported and exported all over the world. For the most part, we’ve entirely forgotten about local farmers.

It’s true that most people today want products from local, organic farmers. Nonetheless, they tend to purchase those products from giant food corporations.

These corporations use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and genetically modify their products in order to produce them cheaply – a far cry from the local, organic food people crave.

Most people are fully aware that most animals destined for consumption endure horrific conditions before being slaughtered. But as long as prices stay low, people will buy from giant corporations instead of their local farmers’ market.

People even complain about the high prices of organic meats and vegetables. But prices are high for a reason: farmers personally tended to those vegetables and took great care of those animals.

Moreover, the calories we consume today come in forms that are hardly recognizable when compared to real food.

After World War II the US government relied on chemical fertilizers to guarantee a cheap, steady supply of corn and soybeans in order to produce high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, and to feed cattle and poultry.

But that production never slowed down. Today, American farmers still produce 3,900 calories per citizen per day. People are consuming way more calories than they require, often without knowing it.

Finally, genetically modified (GM) plants are almost ubiquitous in the US food supply chain, and are often difficult to avoid.

Genetically modified food does not have to be labelled as such, meaning that, even if you don’t want to eat GM foods, the food industry has nonetheless figured out how to get them into your body.

In fact, the people running the industrial farms have strategy meetings to discuss new ways of getting you to consume all these surplus calories, resulting in widespread obesity.


After getting settled in Virginia, Barbara and Steven decided that their yearlong commitment to local food would begin with the harvest of the first vegetable of the year: asparagus.

Asparagus decomposes quickly and should be eaten the very day it’s cut, or very soon after, for best results. Supermarket asparagus does not meet this criteria.

Additionally, if you eat asparagus outside of April, give or take a few weeks, that vegetable has traveled quite a long way before landing on your plate.

Barbara was determined to guide her family into something that most Americans can’t fathom in their food: delayed gratification. Fresh, local food simply isn’t available year round. But when the season arrives, the indulgence is worth the wait. The asparagus from their garden didn’t disappoint.

Heirloom vegetable seeds are passed down from previous generations, saved and swapped among gardeners and chosen for their quality rather than their shelf life. Only the seeds from the tastiest plants get saved and replanted, ensuring the most delicious produce each year.

This is in stark contrast with the hybrid seeds and genetically modified vegetables designed by the food industry specifically to withstand harsh chemical insecticides and to survive long journeys in the backs of trucks.

As spring blossomed in Appalachia, Barbara’s family indulged in the rainbow of nutrients provided by heirloom vegetables like red kale, spinach, multicolored chard, and baby lettuce. It was leafy green season.

Many people don’t realize that most vegetables exist on the flowering plant life cycle, from leaves to flowers, to fruits. The life cycle of the annual plant does not waver, and this is why fruits and vegetables come in specific seasons.

Americans can eat any food, at any time. But at what cost? Taste aside — and taste is affected — the environmental impact of transporting these foods across countless miles is alarming.

Eating locally means reverting back to seasonal eating. It means the money you spend on groceries stays in your community and reduces fossil-fuel usage astronomically. You may not get to eat fruit in the winter, but that fruit was probably not very good anyway.

Barbara and Steven’s plan for sustainable food also extended to meat, thus they decided to raise turkeys.

Almost 100% of the turkeys eaten in America come from the same breed, the broad-breasted white, which is bred specifically to be lethargic and gluttonous.

Barbara and Steven’s birds were bourbon reds, a heritage breed of turkey that are smarter, leaner, and well-suited for free-range living. Incidentally, they also taste better. There are only eight heritage breeds remaining, and their numbers are dwindling fast Meanwhile, their youngest daughter, Lily, would be raising her own flock of birds. Her chickens would provide eggs for the family and any neighbors willing to buy them.

Late spring meant that Barbara was about to celebrate a milestone birthday. She and Steven decided to host a big party with friends and family from across the country over Memorial Day weekend.

The biggest question was what to feed them. From the local community they could get their hands on asparagus, spinach, eggs, free-range chicken and lamb, plus strawberries, rhubarb, goat cheese, and flour. From their own family garden came carrots, bean sprouts, and green peppers.

Barbara spent her birthday in gratitude, not only for her guests but for the countess hands that went into growing, harvesting, and raising each aspect of her birthday meal.

The springtime is your opportunity to bring real food from your own garden to your plate.

If you want to eat real food, then you’ll have to grow it yourself. But growing your own food isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and it will definitely be tempting to buy those delicious-looking greens from your local supermarket in the wintertime. However, if you plan ahead, you can eat vegetables from your own local garden year round.

Spring is the best time to start this garden. Come March, start planting. You can even do this indoors. The author and her daughter, for instance, started by simply planting their veggies and flower seeds under fluorescent lights. When March rolls around again, you might still be eating your winter supply from the last harvest!

The highlight of this month is asparagus, which you can find growing wild. This can be difficult, though. The asparagus spears that you may have seen only look like that for a single day if left unpicked; they grow so rapidly you can almost see it happening in real time. If you pick it, it will simply keep growing.

Later, during the month of April, the climate gets warmer, and everything starts to blossom. So prepare for action in your garden!

The earliest blooms you’ll encounter in April are the vegetables that do well in cool weather and don’t mind a bit of snow. For example, if you planted potatoes in February, when it was still pretty cold outside, your potatoes are likely to be ready for harvest in April. Other plants in this category are onions, peas and the Cole crops, like broccoli, kale, cabbage and so on.

Spring is also the season for spinach, kale, endive and baby lettuce. Just imagine a plate of greens still warm from the sun, with a handful of walnuts and some goat cheese, and you’ll start to truly appreciate the beauty of real food.


June is a quiet season for gardening, so Barbara and her family took the opportunity to visit friends in New England and check out the local food. They tasted the most delicious tomatoes from local gardeners, ate at farm-friendly restaurants — a rarity in the States — and enjoyed the break from their own garden responsibilities while still eating with sustainability in mind.

They also visited friends on their small dairy farm in Ohio.

Elsie and David have their share of struggles, just like anyone else, but there life is largely one of contentment, satisfaction, and communal work. Their Amish values mean that they stay small and local, which also means they aren’t drowning in debt or struggling to keep with the Joneses. They live in a community of healthy, small farms that support one another.

While the rest of America can’t seem to stand the idea of limitations, wanting to eat what they want, go where they want, and do whatever they want, people like Elsie and David have embraced boundaries. Remaining small has kept them stable.

Barbara, Steven, Camille, and Lily returned home just in time for July, or, as gardeners know it, the days of plenty. Barbara was pulling mountains of produce from the garden, including onions, potatoes, snap peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lots and lots of zucchini.

Meanwhile, the roosters, chickens, and turkeys were maturing into adulthood.

Lily carefully tended her hens and watched the roosters closely. Only one would avoid the dinner table by the end of the year.

August continued to bring vegetables in excess, especially the tomatoes. Barbara and her family were seeing red: Lush, ripe tomatoes covered every surface of their kitchen. Barbara used a gardening journal to track their harvest for each crop. They had over 300 pounds of fresh, organic tomatoes by the middle of August.

The tomatoes that weren’t eaten fresh would soon be canned as spaghetti sauce, salsa, and chutney. They also pickled and canned many of the other fresh vegetables from the garden, from beans to cucumbers. Still others were frozen and pushed to the back of the freezer, waiting to make an appearance in the dead of winter when fresh produce is out of the question — unless you want food that has traveled a long distance.

Summer for Barbara’s family ended successfully, red hands and all.

Working hard in the garden means eating great in the summer.

The summertime can transform each and every one of us into a passionate gardener and cook. All you have to do is reconnect with your gardening roots.

Though most of us aren’t farmers or gardeners, we may still feel some dim nostalgia for a simpler time when people lived off the land. Go ahead and embrace that feeling. Don’t let the fact that you live in the city deter you from gardening!

A small balcony is all that’s needed to start your own little garden. In fact, container gardening on your balcony can afford you enough space to grow tomato plants, basil or any of your favorite veggies.

If you’ve made the effort to start a small garden in the spring, then you can reap plenty of rewards in the summer. July is the month of squash (zucchini, crookneck, heirloom), eggplants and cucumbers; August is the “red month,” full of tomatoes. Perfect for any of your favorite dishes!

Another benefit of growing your own greens is that you can cook the “fruits” (and veggies!) of your labor. If you cook for yourself, you’re more likely to keep yourself and your family healthy, and even save some money in the process.

By cooking your own food, you can more easily control both the quality and the quantity of your ingredients. Cooking can also be quite relaxing, and even therapeutic. Cooking food that you’ve grown yourself helps you connect with and get to know your ingredients, not to mention learn about the benefits they hold for your body.

Just remember: working hard in the garden and the kitchen brings rewards that make it all worthwhile.


Labor Day arrived, bringing with it the beautiful, crisp weather that Appalachians associate with fall. But there would be no hikes, apple-picking, or hay rides for Barbara’s family on that day. It was harvest day.

Twelve birds, both roosters and tom turkeys, were destined to meet the chopping block. They had now grown large and mature enough for harvest. Many of the roosters had begun fighting one another and flying aggressively toward Lily as she fed the hens. It was time.

None of them enjoyed the process of harvesting meat, yet there is a greater sense of respect to be gleaned from the animals you eat when you take part in the process of butchering them.

Barbara and Steven had long since stopped eating meat produced by concentrated animal feeding operations. These industrial farms mass produce animals in horrible conditions, feeding them grains they haven’t evolved to subsist on and confining them to maddeningly small enclosures. The growth hormones are only a small part of the story.

Eating heritage breeds that are given the freedom to graze, live well, and naturally improve the landscape before meeting a humane end is an excellent way to support the earth as well as nourish our bodies. The common alternative is to survive on tofu that requires a lot of fossil fuel to wind up on your plate.

So, Barbara and Steven, along with their daughters and some family friends, rolled up their sleeves and got to work on Labor Day, not enjoying the process but certainly respecting it.

September faded into October, a month decorated with yard art featuring hay bales, chrysanthemums, and, of course, pumpkins. Pumpkins were everywhere.

Barbara herself had grown several different kinds, which were now safely stored in the root cellar.

But pumpkins weren’t the only fall harvest they would enjoy. Unlike the leafy greens and juicy vegetables of the annual variety, there are a few crops that fall under the biennial category.

These crops are planted in the spring, grow during the summer and winter, and flower the following spring. But human gardeners interfere with the process, harvesting the roots before the plants have a chance to reach maturity. Potatoes, carrots, beets, garlic, onions, and other root vegetables are the result, keeping families fed and warm during the winter months.

Barbara and Steven’s root cellar was full of a variety of potatoes and onions. The garlic was dried and braided, ready to be slowly picked clean just in time for the following year’s harvest.

The first frost of the year arrived late, allowing Barbara’s family one last reaping of fresh tomatoes and peppers before the ground would become dormant until the following spring.

Autumn brings blood, pumpkin and potatoes into our gardens.

When the weather changes, our eating habits change with it. We start consuming foods that will give us the warmth and strength to survive the cold of winter. Often, that strength comes from animals.

Although not everyone can raise animals, those who do must know how to do it right. Animal harvesting is a controversial practice, considered by some to be a cruel ritual. However, unlike the mere killing of an animal, harvesting implies planning and respect – an effort to make the animal’s life as good as possible before it’s slaughtered for consumption.

Animals in industrial farms, however, are inhumanly killed, not harvested. That is, not a second thought is given to the terror and pain these animals suffer prior to their death. Furthermore, the conditions in which these animals live are beyond deplorable: the animals get little or no exercise, waiting in darkness and discomfort for their final day.

But the harvesting of animals can be done in ways that don’t cause fear or pain.

The author recounts a story of how she and her family decided one September day that it was time to harvest some of their roosters. To spare it a painful death, they would grab the rooster by the legs and turn it upside down, causing it to fall asleep. They then put its neck gently onto a block, quickly and painlessly decapitated it and then drained it of blood.

After the animal harvest in September, October brings delicious potatoes and pumpkins.

Potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, which fill you with energy. They are best planted as soon as the soil can be worked, so you should probably start stirring up in March, around Saint Patrick’s Day.

Pumpkins are another marvelous treat for the autumn table. They are the largest vegetable we consume, and can be used in many recipes.


As winter was shutting down the garden for business, it was opening yet another enterprise: Lily’s eggs. Her hens finally reach maturity, and she had selected a breed known for their ability to lay despite cold weather. By November she was collecting a dozen eggs each day and already had customers lined up.

Thanksgiving gave the family an opportunity to eat a truly home-grown meal, including the turkey, potatoes, pumpkins, Steven’s homemade bread, and more. This year was extra special, offering them a chance to celebrate the end of a growing season with true appreciate and understanding.

December ushered in snow and closed the farmers market, but also brought new opportunities for celebration and enjoying the food they had labored to produce.

As January rolled in, the question most people asked Barbara, referring to her family’s local-only experiment, is, “What do you eat?” The garden was dormant. How can you eat fresh, local food when snow is on the ground? The truth is, Barbara, Steven, and the girls were able to eat lots of things in January. It simply took some forethought.

They ate the poultry they raised in over the summer, harvested in autumn, and froze as whole birds or soup stock. They ate the many tomatoes they canned in the form of sauces and chutneys. They ate the countless other vegetables from the garden, which were pulled from the freezer rather than the ground. The root vegetables were waiting patiently in the cellar.

It was all fast and convenient, the work having been done in the months prior.

Winter felt like a much needed vacation compared with the planting, tending, and harvesting required throughout the other seasons. Barbara’s family spent January contentedly enjoying the fruits of their labor, full and satisfied.

March was a different story. By then, the pantry had dwindled to a few surviving jars of tomato sauce and the frozen vegetables had nearly all been consumed. Still, it was too early to gather anything new from the garden.

Barbara’s family didn’t go hungry — there was still another frozen turkey, some corn, and lots of zucchini among the dredges — but it certainly wasn’t the plentiful bounty they enjoyed in January.

Barbara noticed that her turkeys were acting strangely and soon realized they had reached sexual maturity. They soon mated and laid eggs, but the hens showed little interest in sitting on them. Many turkeys are harvested well before they ever get a chance to lay eggs, and the ones that do lay never get a chance to roost. The eggs are generally put in incubators.

Perhaps the motherly instincts had been bred out of the hens, but Barbara was determined to give them a chance. If they were successful in hatching new turkeys, the next generation would have a better chance at reproducing once again.

Open up your freezer in winter, explore its contents and wait for the warm days to return.

There’s not much gardening to be done in the winter. Rather, these icy months invite you to stay indoors and explore what you’ve stockpiled in your freezer. But are you sufficiently prepared for winter?

There’s one thing you should definitely be sure of: that your freezer is stocked with meat and fats, like fish and nuts. Without these nutrients, both your body and mind might suffer.

We need meat and fatty food to keep our bodies warm and energetic, especially during the wintertime. Chicken, beef, turkey or even fish serve your body’s metabolic cravings for fatty food and help it maintain its energy stores.

People who live in places with little daylight and colder temperatures are even advised to eat more seafood, which helps the body fight depression. Indeed, neurological studies have revealed that those omega-3 fatty acids in ocean fish counteract the blues. You can also find omega-3 in pasture-finished beef.

Because you won’t have any crops from the garden that need to be eaten right away, winter is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen.

Open your freezer and use whatever vegetables you have. It could be grated zucchini, broccoli and greens for salads or sliced apples for pies, and you’ll probably have tons of squash for soups, vegetable pies and stews. You can even freeze pesto for a quick and delicious pasta dish in winter.

You can make pesto out of pretty much any veggie – tomatoes, basil or any other greens. And it’s easily stored in small jars or plastic bags. When you want to eat some pasta, all you have to do is grab a jar from the freezer and set it in some hot water. Once unfrozen, mix the pesto with the pasta, add a few olives, dried tomatoes and a bit of parmesan and – presto! – you’ve got a delicious meal.

Time Begins

Barbara, Steven, Camille, and Lily embarked on a journey to accomplish something that Americans used to do without thinking: They ate locally for an entire year, largely fed by their own garden and coop.

The final day of their year came and went without fanfare. They weren’t staring at the calendar, waiting to dive back into packaged and processed foods the moment the clock struck midnight. In fact, they didn’t even notice the end because their new life felt so normal by then.

There was certainly a sense of pride surrounding it all — pride at having followed through with a promise they had made to themselves. But as the asparagus began to poke its head out of the ground once again, they realized that the year wasn’t simply an interesting experiment anymore. They were changed, and they didn’t want to go back.

It may be impossible to change the world on your own, to end global warming or to completely shun fossil fuels, but we can all work together and try. This isn’t a project to be left to the next generation. By then it will be too late. Today, we owe it to our children to do something — even something small.

Eat local, carpool, recycle, or plant your own garden. Small steps, when made by enough people, add up to something global.

At the end of April, one of Barbara’s turkeys sat on a pile of eggs as they hatched into tiny baby poults. Barbara marvelled at the profound privilege of witnessing the turkeys grow from tiny babies themselves to mature adults and now, parents. They were special turkeys, some of the few ever allowed to come full circle.

The garden and the coop were awakening, and time was beginning once again.


It’s been over a decade since Barbara and her family completed their yearlong experiment. Since then, the farm has grown to accommodate a small herd of cattle, a flock of sheep, and a new apple orchard. Barbara and Steven now make their own wine and cider, and their vegetable garden flourishes. Steven even opened a restaurant that serves locally sourced food.

Camille got married on the farm and settled nearby with her husband to raise a family of her own. Lily, inspired by her upbringing, studied environmental science and became committed to preserving the animals and plants of the earth.

They still eat locally, from the community and their own land. It’s no longer a defining characteristic, it’s simply a routine — one they enjoy.

In the years since they moved back to Virginia, eating locally has become trendy.

Many more Americans are committed to sustainable food, and countless restaurants now work with ingredients from the local community. More and more people are starting to pay attention to the ecological crisis that is largely aided by the food industry.

The farm keeps producing, year after year. Seeds are planted, and colorful vegetables sprout. Barbara keeps canning so they can all enjoy real, local food throughout the winter.

The family keeps eating, continually grateful for the opportunity to see their food complete its natural cycle, from start to finish. Everything in its time.

The key message in this book:

Even if you live in the city, you can still experience the joy of gardening. Whether you do it on your balcony or in a community space, gardening will familiarize you with your food, save you money and improve your diet.

About the author

Barbara Kingsolver is a bestselling author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her books include The Poisonwood Bible, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Lacuna, winner of Britain’s Orange Prize for Fiction, Flight Behavior, and Small Wonder. Kingsolver previously received the National Humanities Medal, and she was named one of the most important writers of the 20th century by Writer’s Digest.

Barbara Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts. She received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain’s Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She now lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Camille Kingsolver graduated from Duke University in 2009 and currently works in the mental health field. She is an active advocate for the local-food movement, doing public speaking for young adults of her own generation navigating food choices in a difficult economy. She lives in Asheville, N.C., and grows a vegetable garden in her front yard.

Steven L. Hopp was trained in life sciences and received his PhD from Indiana University. He has published papers in bioacoustics, ornithology, animal behavior and more recently in sustainable agriculture. He is the founder and director of the Meadowview Farmers Guild, a community development project that includes a local foods restaurant and general store that source their products locally. He teaches at Emory & Henry College in the Environmental Studies department. He coauthored Animal, Vegetable, Miracle with Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver.


Personal Memoirs, Landscape Design, Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Culinary Biographies, American Women, Christian Scientist, Cooking, Diets, Farmers, Food habits, Natural foods, Natural Healing and Medicine

Table of Contents

Called home
Waiting for asparagus: late March
Springing forward
Stalking the vegetannual
Molly mooching: April
The birds and the bees
Gratitude: May
Growing trust: mid-June
Six impossible things before breakfast: late June
Eating neighborly: late June
Slow food nations: late June
Zucchini larceny: July
Life in a red state: August
You can’t run away on harvest day: September
Where fish wear crowns: September
Smashing pumpkins: October
Celebration days: November-December
What do you eat in January?
Hungry month: February-March
Time begins.


Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

Hang on for the ride: with characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that’s better for the neighborhood and also better on the table.

Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life, and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.


“Charming, zestful, funny and poetic…a serious book about important problems.” (Washington Post Book World)

“Charming . . . Literary magic . . . If you love the narrative voice of Barbara Kingsolver, you will be thrilled.” (Houston Chronicle)

“ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change.”” (Chicago Tribune)

“If you…buy…one book this summer, make it this one…As satisfying and complete as a down home supper.” (Tucson Citizen)

“Engaging…Absorbing…Lovely food writing…[Kingsolver] succeeds at adopting the warm tone of a confiding friend.” (Corby Kummer, New York Times Book Review)

“A lovely book. ” (Los Angeles Times)

“[Written] with passion and hope…This novelist paints a compelling big picture-broad and ambitious, with nary an extraneous stroke.” (Rocky Mountain News)

“Homespun, unassuming, informed, positive, inspiring. . . . Unstinting in its concerns about this imperiled planet.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

“A profound, graceful, and literary work . . . Timeless. . . . It can change who you are.” (Rick Bass, Boston Globe)

“Classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny….Kingsolver takes the genre to a new literary level.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Kingsolver elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living…Readers…will take heart and inspiration here.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Kingsolver beautifully describes this experience.” (More Magazine)

“Kingsolver dresses down the American food complex…These down-on-the-farm sections are inspiring and…compelling.” (Outside magazine)

“Faithful, funny, and thought-provoking…Readers-whether vegetarian or carnivore-will not go hungry, literally or literarily.” (BookPage)

“Equal parts folk wisdom and political activism . . . This family effort instructs as much as it entertains.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“Full…of zest and sometimes ribald humor… Reading this book will make you hungry.” (Raleigh News & Observer)

“Lessons learned in sustainability are worth feasting on-and taking to heart.” (Self)

“Every bit as transporting as-and more ecologically relevant than-any “Year In Provence”-style escapism…Earthy…informative….[and] englightened.” (Washington Post)

“Provocative . . . Kingsolver . . . evokes the sheer joy of producing one’s own food.” (People)

“An impassioned, sensual, smart and witty narrative…Kinsolver is a master at leavening a serious message with humor.” (St. Petersburg Times)

“Wry, insightful and inspiring to anyone who yearns to work with the earth.” (Chicago Tribune (on the audiobook))

“Kingsolver…adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us…[A] vicarious taste of domesticity.” (Christian Science Monitor)

“A terrific effort. The delight for readers…is the chance to experience the rediscovery of community through food.” (The Oregonian (Portland))

“Kingsolver, who writes evocatively about our connection to place, does so here with characteristic glowing prose. She provides the rapture.” (Miami Herald)

“If you’re interested in learning more about healthful eating, you’ll want to read…ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE.” (Charlotte Observer)

“Loaded with terrific information about everything from growth hormones to farm subsidies.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Kingsolver carries us along in her distinct and breezy prose.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“I defy anyone to read this book and walk away from it without gaining at least the desire to change.” (

“Charming…and persuasive…Each season-and chapter-unfolds with a natural rhythm and mouth-watering appeal.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“Anyone who read and appreciated THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA by Michael Pollan will want to read Barbara Kingsolver’s book.” (Roanoke Times)

“[This] is a book that, without being preachy, makes a solid case for eating locally instead of globally.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“Highly digestible…Engaging.” (Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe)

“Other notable writers have addressed this topic, but Kingsolver claims it as her own….Self-deprecating instead of self-righteous.” (Charlotte Observer)

“Delectable . . . steeped in elegant prose and seasoned with smart morsels about the food industry.” (Chicago Tribune)

“[Kingsolver is] a master storyteller, and even those who’ve heard this tale before will be captivated.” (Daily News)

“ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE is a chronicle of food feats…I’m inclined to agree with most points Kingsolver makes.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

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