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Dellarobia Turnbow is trapped in an unhappy marriage with two young children and domineering in-laws. Her guilt-ridden tryst with a young lover offers her some distraction from the gnawing poverty and the general drudgery of life.

On her way to one of these clandestine encounters, she chances upon beautiful Monarch butterflies - like “showers of orange sparks” - in her in-laws’ woodland estate.

Accidentally hailed as a visionary, her tale draws the attention of the locals and the media, and soon scientists are looking into the cause of this miraculous phenomenon.

Set in the rural Appalachian backdrop, Orange Prize winner Kingsolver weaves her magic in this beautifully written story that gives an insight into the effects of climate change while touching upon modern American consumerism.

Brilliantly narrated, the book is full of poetic charm and steeped in biblical references.

 

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