Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman's narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel's inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.
Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.
Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by HarperCollins
ISBN 0062124269 (ISBN13: 9780062124265)
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A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away, and it is one part rapture.Town/Environment:
This story takes place in the Appalachian Mountains.
|By Jan van der Crabben (Photographer) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
This was my first Barbara Kingsolver book. I've heard such good things about her, and know how popular she is. So I was hoping to be blown away. Unfortunately I was not.
That's not to say it was a bad story. It wasn't. It had it's moments. I'll admit to a few tears and a few smiles. But for the most part, the book came off as just "eh" for me.
Dellarobia wasn't very likable in the beginning, although she became more so later on. She was just a whiny and complaining woman discontented with her life, and unappreciative of everything she has, focused only on what she doesn't have.
But life changes after the butterflies. She begins to remember the person she used to be-- who she wanted to become. She begins to see her life for what it really is, both good and bad. She finds herself once again.
My final word: While I embrace the author's attempts to draw attention to the issue of "climate change" and its consequences, this story just came off as overly-dramatic. Climate change is more of a whisper, it's subtle and quiet and sneaks up on you while you aren't looking. This book felt like a loud scream in a quiet forest. Yet, despite that, the book was almost boring at times, making me scan over descriptive text that I had no interest in. And I kept cringing at the cultural stereotyping that riddles the story. It felt uncomfortable to me. I mean, I understand cultural differences. I often ask our Puerto Rican office girl questions about the Puerto Rican culture. But there was something...I don't know...almost untoward about the constant stereotypes in this book. But overall it is a worthwhile read, if for no other reason than to open your eyes to the far-reaching implications of climate change.
My thanks to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be part of this book tour.
master schedule on their website:
Tuesday, June 4th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, June 5th: 50 Books Project
Monday, June 10th: Love at First Book
Tuesday, June 11th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, June 13th: she treads softly
Friday, June 14th: I Read a Book Once
Monday, June 17th: Suko’s Notebook
Tuesday, June 18th: Mom in Love With Fiction
Thursday, June 20th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, June 20th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, June 24th: Amused By Books
Tuesday, June 25th: Joyfully Retired
Wednesday, June 26th: Wordsmithonia
Thursday, June 27th: Conceptual Reception
Monday, July 1st: Giraffe Days
Tuesday, July 2nd: The Well-Read Redhead
Wednesday, July 3rd: Dreaming in Books
Monday, July 8th: Peppermint PhD
Wednesday, July 10th: nomadreader
Thursday, July 11th: Olduvai Reads
TBD: Oh! Paper Pages
Barnes and Noble
Writing Style: B
I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.