Book Review – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

BKingsolver_An_Veg_MirFrom the author of The Poinsonwood Bible, Prodigal Summer and Pigs in Heaven comes this inspiring and empowering read. Barbara and her family embark on a journey to improve their footprint on the environment by shedding the shackles of commercialism and shifting towards sustainable self-sufficiency and supporting local food systems.

Essentially a diary of the family’s experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – this book is narrated through the eyes of Barbara’s partner, their eldest daughter and Barbara herself. From saving seed, preserving, growing organically and raising their own kill to travelling through Italy with a bothersome pumpkin and spending time with their Amish friends, Kingsolver and her family delve deeper into the impact of the commercialisation of food on not only our health and well-being but also on the environment and those small-holding farmers that try hard to live off their small patch as sustainably as possible. They share their joys, their sorrows and a recipe or two along the way!

“Our highest shopping goal was to get our food from so close to home, we’d know the persoside-farm-tourn who grew it. Often that turned out to be ourselves as we learned to produce what we needed, starting with dirt, seeds, and enough knowledge to muddle through. Or starting with baby animals, and enough sense to refrain from naming them.”

—Barbara Kingsolver

A can’t-put-it-down read, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle will leave you inspired to improve your families food attitudes and behaviours, as it did ours. I found a cheap new copy from

Also, check out for more information about the authors, excerpts and recipes, along with a few photos of their patch of paradise.


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