In both Animal Dreams and her later novel Prodigal Summer, Kingsolver constructs narratives of community inhabited by characters with a vivid awareness of the natural world and the threats to that world; furthermore, both novels feature strong female characters who long for a more harmonious life within nature. The novels develop and present forthright ecofeminist themes, with the women in the texts representing ideals of ecologically sensitive living who seek to educate their communities about threats to the environment and the defenses against those threats.
Kingsolver's ecofeminist vision, however, is frequently complicated and contradictory; just as the desert landscape presents its inhabitants with numerous challenges, Kingsolver's narratives of community, by their very structure and implicit concerns, undermine and complicate her agenda.
Magee, Richard. "The Aridity of Grace: Community and Ecofeminism in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams and Prodigal Summer." New Directions in Ecofeminist Literary Criticism. Ed. Andrea Campbell. Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. Print