Novels About Nature or the Environment

A natural setting is an important part of these novels. Characters might also have concerns for nature or the environment.

See also Animals

Novels About Nature or the Environment

Animal Dreams | Barbara Kingsolver

Codi returns to her hometown of Grace, Arizona to care for her father who has Alzheimer’s disease. Her sister, Hallie, moves to Nicaragua to teach the people about agricultural practices even though it’s a dangerous area. Codi meets up again with Loyd, a Native American man she has a history with. A local mining company is polluting the river and has plans to divert it, which would be devastating to the orchards.

Cry, the Beloved Country | Alan Paton

In Book I, Stephen Kumalo, a priest from a small South African community, gets a letter saying his sister is ill. He sets off for Johannesburg to help, and also to look for his son, Absalom. Book II presents some of the same events from the perspective of James Jarvis, a man who receives sad news and then heads for Johannesburg. Book III is told from the point of view of Kumalo and Jarvis.

Out of Africa | Isak Dinesen

Dinesen owns a coffee plantation in Nairobi. It is home to the East Africans who farm the land. She muses on the landscape, and presents character sketches of many people she comes to know.

Wuthering Heights | Emily Bronte

An orphan boy, Heathcliff, is brought to Wuthering Heights and becomes close to his benefactor’s daughter, Catherine Earnshaw. They aren’t socially equal, so Catherine refuses to marry Heathcliff, leading to a string of deranged behavior.

Read “Wuthering Heights”

House Made of Dawn | N. Scott Momaday

It is 1945 when Abel’s grandfather picks him up at the bus station. He has just returned from World War II. He remembers frightening things from his early life on the reservation and his wartime experiences. He does a little work for a white woman who lives nearby, and they develop a relationship.

Walden | Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau spends two years at Walden Pond, living with self-sufficiency and in solitude. He describes the economics of his living arrangement, how he spends his time, and his connection to nature.

Read “Walden”

How Green Was My Valley | Richard Llewellyn

Huw tells the story of his life in his Wales valley with his parents and siblings. His father and older brothers worked in the coal mine. Huw’s brother Davy led the workers in two strikes for higher wages. Some of the workers favoured unionizing and Socialism, which divided the family somewhat. The slag, a by-product of the mining operations, turned the valley black.

Read “How Green Was My Valley”


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