by Barbara Kingsolver
I've read several of Kingsolver's books (who hasn't read The Poisonwood Bible?) and enjoyed them very much, but of all her books, this one is my favorite.
If you've ever read Kingsolver you'll know what a great writer she is: poignant, powerful, graceful, with marvelous characters and insight into human nature. She writes with strong overtones of the natural world, of community, and frequently, the effects of modern life on the natural world (in this book, pollution—and I know that sounds horrid, but it really isn't, let me finish).
This story is the story of Codi, a woman who feels as if she fits in nowhere, and her return to the town she grew up in. And it is a story of how she got pregnant as a teenager and lost the baby, and how that loss affected the rest of her life.
I love the story because it is a love story, and it is a story about healing, reconciliation, and learning what belonging really means. (Really. Pollution is a side-plot, really it is.)
I don't know how many times I've read this now, but I love reading it every time. I always forget just how good it is. (So why don't I own this one yet?)