Similes are figures of speech that have the potential to add a new perspective, a clearer understanding, and a deeper meaning to a single idea, a sentence, a paragraph, or a full length essay. Kingsolver's similes are so numerous that it seems habitual, however a handful of them are among the best I've read or heard. Here is a list of Kingsolver's finest similes from Prodigal Summer. Hopefully they inspire you to read her writing, in order to fully understand the context of the quotes. However, even out of context, these quotes are extraordinary.
"She kept to her own thoughts then, touching them like smooth stones deep in a pocket" (Summer 18).
"...their clasped hands, alive with nerve endings like some fresh animal born with its own volition, pulling them forward" (Summer 20).
"she felt as jarred and disjunct as a butterfly molted extravagantly from a dun-colored larva and with no clue how to fly" (Summer 20).
"Arguments could fill a marriage like water, running through everything, always, with no taste or color but lots of noise" (Summer 46).
"She’d finished brushing her hair. It cascaded down her back and shoulders and folded onto the porch floor where she sat, rippling all around her like a dark, tea-colored waterfall glittering with silver reflections. More silver each year, and less tea” (Summer 53).
“Damned thing, self-consciousness, like a pitiful stray dog tagging you down the road—so hard to shake off. So easy to get back” (Summer 55).
"Lusa held her breath and lay very still, stunned by luck, as if a butterfly had lit on her shoulder” (Summer 356).
“Hannie-Mavis was trying to organize the kids into a labor pool for cranking the ice cream, but at the moment they were circling her like a swarm of bees threatening their queen with mutiny” (Summer 222).
~Father Nature, Editor