March, 2018: Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

(Book #95) Have I mentioned I love to host? Well, it was my turn again and prior to the event, my husband had travel plans that would take him to the site of the book Tucson, Arizona. In the book, Loyd has a grove of pecan trees. I asked my husband to buy pecans while there so that I could say the dessert was made with authentic Arizona pecans.  While in Tucson, my husband ordered pecans from Amazon — he just doesn’t get me after all these years. My dinner was a combination of Mexican and Native American dishes as informed by all the wonderful food talked about it the book — I’d even ordered Codi’s favorite jelly — prickly pear. This was Chris’ review of the evening:

Dear Doña Teresa:

I have now tapped out my Español, but I wanted to thank you for the amazing dinner, which you clearly must have started cooking on your Disney cruise. (How did you  manage to commandeer the galley?) What a feast! I feel pretty sorry for those who missed it: delicious guacamole, pico de gallo, chips, quesadillas, and pomegranate margaritas to start, followed by, believe it or not, pork pozole (red), a Mexican lasagna whose actual name I forget, and fish tacos with all the trimmings. PLUS two types of bread: fry bread and Apache bread cooked in corn husks. Then, in honor of Loyd-with-one-L’s trees, a peach-pecan upside-down cake, with ice cream no less. Denny and his giant dino menagerie made a late appearance, and as Geri and I vied for the honor of having been remembered as “the funny one,” he headed straight for Susan and left us both totally dejected. 

Everyone liked the book, most of us quite a lot. I think everyone expressed amazement and some frustration at Codi’s cluelessness but loved the characters (including the dog/coyote), the language, and the description of the setting. 

Thanks again for a lovely evening,


When I thought back about the book, I realized I wasn’t as taken in by the story as by the collection of characters, and I wasn’t as interested in the main character, Codi,  as I was her home town (and surrounding area.) I could seldom make sense of Codi’s choices, but could understand why she chose to stay in Gracela Canyon.