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Flight Behavior

Flight Behavior

Escrito por Barbara Kingsolver

Narrado por Barbara Kingsolver


Flight Behavior

Escrito por Barbara Kingsolver

Narrado por Barbara Kingsolver

avaliações:
4/5 (164 avaliações)
Comprimento:
16 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Nov 6, 2012
ISBN:
9780062124319
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Descrição

“Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words.”
Time

The extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver returns with a truly stunning and unforgettable work. Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver’s riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver’s must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Nov 6, 2012
ISBN:
9780062124319
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Sobre o autor

Barbara Kingsolver is the author of nine bestselling works of fiction, including the novels, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her work of narrative nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned literary awards and a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts, as well as the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her body of work. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.


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  • (4/5)
    Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver is set in Appalachian Tennessee in present day. It's protagonist is the perfect character for those of us who loved the "I always knew I was different" characters as children, only all grown up. The conflict is gobsmacking: a natural anomaly (gorgeous imagery btw) is interpreted by the church as a miracle, but by science as a harbinger of disaster. Ugh, the heartbreak in beauty and the way change transforms through destruction. Good stuff!!!
  • (3/5)
    Dellarobia is a little too gorgeous and smart to be believed, but it's an engrossing story bringing out discussions of environment and class. On a day that she's ready to get caught philandering and upend her world, she is deterred by the miracle of a butterfly migration gone awry. It's not terribly far into the future and climate change threatens to upend everyone's world.
  • (4/5)
    Page turner - climate change science and a fictitious event of monarch butterflies overwintering in the Appalachians instead of a town in Mexico. Dellarobia is an intense character ... the ending dramatic.
  • (3/5)
    I like Barbara Kingsolver and absolutely loved Poisonwood Bible. This book was okay, wasn't one of my favorites. It's a look into a backwoods family dealing with everyday issues and also about the monarchs who have landed for some reason in their mountains to hibernate until they move onto the next location due to their normal location being destroyed in Mexico. I struggled through some of the book trying to keep with the story. Because of it being Ms. Kingsolver I stuck with it but if it was an author I hadn't read before I don't know if I would have stuck with it.
  • (4/5)
    Originally posted at Olduvai Reads


    “The flame now appeared to lift from individual treetops in showers of orange sparks, exploding the way a pine log does in a campfire when it’s poked. The sparks spiraled upward in swirls like funnel clouds. Twisters of brightness against gray sky. In broad daylight with no comprehension, she watched. From the tops of the funnels the sparks lifted high and sailed out undirected above the dark forest.”

    A young farmer’s wife is on the way to a tryst with a lover in the woods. She sees an unusual sight, of orange and fire in the valley below, and is startled and confused. She takes it for a sign to head home.

    “She was pressed by the quiet elation of escape and knowing better and seeing straight through to the back of herself, in solitude. She couldn’t remember when she’d had such room for being. This was not just another fake thing in her life’s cheap chain of events, leading up to this day of sneaking around in someone’s thrown-away boots. Here that ended. Unearthly beauty had appeared to her, a vision of glory to stop her in the road. For her alone these orange boughs lifted, these long shadows became a brightness rising. It looked like the inside of joy, if a person could see that. A valley of lights, an ethereal wind. It had to mean something.”

    Dellarobia Turnbow, this ordinary woman with an unusual name, a wife (her husband is known to everyone as Cub as his father is Bear!) and mother of two young children, living in a fictional Appalachian town of Feathertown, Tennessee, is the very person who makes this important, life-changing discovery of Monarch butterflies, whose flight path has been disrupted by changing weather patterns, and have settled in the mountains owned by her husband’s family.

    Soon some scientists arrive, one in particular, Ovid Byron, interests Dellarobia:

    “Tall, dark, and handsome, but extra tall, extra dark. Okay, extra all three. He was so many things, this Mr Buron, that he constituted something of an audience, driving her to invent a performance on the spot.”

    He recognises her intelligence and determination, and hires her to help with his project, studying the Monarch’s unusual location when they were supposed to gather in Mexico.

    While there is a large, engulfing topic up for discussion, and as the scientists and tourists, media and protestors settle in, Dellarobia’s life goes on. And Kingsolver lovingly details these everyday lives with her absorbing prose.

    “But being a stay-at-home mom was the loneliest kind of lonely, in which she was always and never by herself. Days and days, hours and hours within them, and days within weeks, at the end of which she might not ever have gotten completely dressed or read any word longer than Chex, any word not ending in -os, or formed a sentence or brushed her teeth or left a single footprint outside the house. Just motherhood, with its routine costs of providing a largesse that outstripped her physical dimensions.”

    At first I was not sure that I would like Dellarobia, this frustrated woman looking for an escape from her mundane life, but she is smart, and funny, and has fallen into this life of hers after a teenaged mistake. She has the company of a Thelma and Louise kind of best friend in Dovey, single and with more spending money, who loves to text her on Sunday mornings with one-liners she collects from church marquees: “Come ye fishers of men, you catch, God will clean”. And her kids, astute kindergartener Preston and cute as a button Cordelia.

    I enjoyed reading of Dellarobia’s rural life, her small world. And the contrast of her life with that of the scientists, not just Ovid but of the various grad students and volunteers whose paths she crosses. As well as my own life, having spent most of it in the city-state of Singapore, where there isn’t really such a thing as ‘rural’.

    Flight Behaviour is undoubtedly a book, albeit a fictional piece, about climate change. But its rural/lower-class perspective is unique. One of my favourite moments was when Dellarobia read an organisation’s ‘Sustainability Pledge’, a list of things that one could promise to do to lower carbon footprint. Such as bringing one’s own Tupperware to a restaurant for leftovers, when she had not eaten out at a restaurant in two years. Or recycling old computers and turning off monitors when not in use, when she doesn’t have a computer.

    “Try to reduce the intake of red meat in your diet.”

    “Are you crazy? I’m trying to increase our intake of red meat.”

    “Why is that?”

    “Because mac and cheese only gets you so far, is why. We have lamb, we produce that one our farm. But I don’t have a freezer. I have to get it from my in-laws.”

    I read this book pretty much as soon as it arrived in the mail, way way before my tour stop date today, and as I reread parts of it to refresh my memory for this post, I was wowed once again by Kingsolver’s writing:

    “She watched wonder and light come into her daughter’s eyes. Preston stood with the toes of his sneakers at the very edge of the gravel road and his arms outstretched, as if he might take flight. Dellarobia felt the same; the sight of all this never wore out. The trees were covered with butterflies at rest, and the air was filled with life. She inhaled the scent of the trees. Finally a clear winter day, blue dome, dark green firs, and all the space between filled with fluttering gold flakes, like a snow globe. She could see they were finding lift here and there, upwelling over the trees. Millions of monarchs, orange confetti, winked light into their eyes.”

    An unforgettable read.

  • (4/5)
    I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review from TLC Book Tours.Oh, Barbara Kingsolver, you are just as amazing as ever. From the author of one of my all-time favorite books ever (The Poisonwood Bible), comes Flight Behavior.When I heard TLC Book Tours was hosting a tour for a Kingsolver book, I jumped right in. And I’m glad that I did.Flight Behavior is a story about Dellarobia Turnbow, a poor woman in a small town, with a husband she’s not in love with (got pregnant young and got married), and two kids that she adores. Dellarobia’s struggling to find her way, and on her way, she discovers a magnificent sight.Turns out, this magnificent sight (that she didn’t have her glasses on for her to see clearly) is the accumulation of millions of monarch butterflies in the woods on the Turnbow property.Only problem is, her father-in-law is going to have the woods bulldozed to sell off the trees and pay the mortgage.For the full review, visit Love at First Book
  • (3/5)
    I am a huge Kingsolver fan, and I am sensitive to the message of this novel. I loved the story line of a woman in a marriage she feels trapped in and her awakening to the fact that she has options.I loved how we get to know people in this small Appalachian town. I did not enjoy the endless encyclopedic information about the Monarch Butterfly and it's migratory patterns and the effect Global Warming is having on this particular species as well as the rest of the planet. I felt that if I was not sensitive to this topic I would not have read the book, or at least would have stopped reading it, and so, as she was preaching to the choir, the author did not have to use the heavy hammer. I did not need a loooong chapter on shopping in a second hand store to get the "reuse it" message, a few paragraphs would suffice.

    This felt like another instance where an author is so successful that editors dare not suggest or order cuts (talking to you John Irving!) that would make a novel more concise and less rambling, and, to me, boring.
  • (3/5)
    Kingsolver's descriptions are beautiful, but the plot of Flight Behavior seems to plod along. Compared to her previous novels, this does not have the same resonance.
  • (5/5)
    [[Barbara Kingsolver]] is one of my favorite authors and she definitely didn't disappoint with [Flight Behavior]. This is a multi-faceted book which provides a great human story about a bright young woman who grew up with few opportunities (father dying young, mother struggling, poor schools), got pregnant and married in high school and, when we meet her 11 years later is struggling to find her way with a sweet but unambitious husband, 2 children, difficult in-laws, little income and a not so bright future. She discovers that a huge colony (millions) of Monarch butterflies are over-winterig on the family farm and the repercussions of that affect the lives of the entire area. It also provides Kingsolver a medium to include a good bit of information about the life of Monarch and the effects of global climate change on them. The main characters in the book, including the butterflies, are very real and I found myself caring very much about what was happening to them. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Another beautiful Barbara Kingsolver book. I also thought she managed to talk about climate change without too much preachiness. I loved Dellarobia--and her flight from marriage etc.
  • (5/5)
    What can I say, I love Barbara Kingsolver books and I loved ths one :).
  • (5/5)
    It took me quite a long time to get around to reading Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, which is unlike me, I adore her work, and this one is no exception. Kingsolver ‘s prose is so beautiful, I am almost convinced she could make any topic intriguing. Her characters, as usual are superb, relatable for good and bad, and above all characters I wanted to learn more about as the book progressed. While I have yet to read other reviews, I was surprised to see the rather low scores, perhaps others did not like a story written around the topic of climate change and flight patterns of monarch butterflies, I do not know. What I am certain of is the fact that Kingsolver was able to draw me in by the close of the first page, which honestly is no small feat. There is just something about Kingsolver’s writing that casts a spell over me, now do not get my wrong, this is not as good as The Poisonwood Bible; which if you are reading this review and have yet to read that book by Kingsolver, run out and get the book, afterward, settle in with a cup of tea and enjoy Flight Behavior. I do recommend Flight Behavior to fans of Kingsolver’s, anyone looking for beautifully written books with wonderfully drawn out characters, and especially to book discussion groups as there is quite a bit to discuss.
  • (4/5)
    I approached Flight Behavior with mixed emotion. On one hand, I’ve loved every Kingsolver book I’ve ever read and rate her The Poisonwood Bible as one of the best books in my reading lifetime. On the other hand, I roll my eyes (quite literally) at heroines with names like Juniper or Venetia or, in this case, Dellarobia, AND the book was purported to be full of butterflies. Dreams of fluff danced in my head.But Kingsolver tackles a very serious issue in Flight Behavior: climate change, and the real-life destruction of the wintering nesting grounds of North America’s Monarch butterfly population in 2010. That she peoples this drama with the melodramatically named Dellarobia who makes a series of decisions that alienated her from this reader does not lesson the importance of that main issue, or for that matter, the beauty of her writing.For concrete (albeit fictionally set) consequences of a complex issue, you could do far worse than this book.Read this if: you don’t think climate is really changing our world; you recognize that climate change is real and would like great party talking-points on the subject; or you’re a Kingsolver fan. 4 stars
  • (5/5)
    My second novel by Kingsolver under my reading belt. Like Lacuna she has titled her work so that it represents many layers of plot that unfold in Flight Behavior.When a discontented housewife who yearns for a more fulfilling life witnesses a miraculous vision of monarch butterflies wintering over in millions on her father-in-laws property, while on her way to a tryst, she undergoes a personal transformation.Efforts to keep this discovery secret fail as word streaks through the church, then the community ,to the news and personal media. It attracts the curious to this isolated town, and a fascinating lepidopterist who soon enchants her and her children as he includes them in his biological research and shows her a wider world that she can become part of.The monarchs may be beautiful, they may seem magical, they can be viewed as miraculous, but they are really harbingers of destruction and the indicator species of a world gone wrong.Avoiding being overly preachy, Kingsolver informs her readers that there will be no refuge in ignorance from the implications and impacts of global warming. While we witness species of plant and animal life all around us trying desperately to adjust to too rapid change, the question uppermost in all our minds is will human beings be able to adapt and survive. A master of symbolism, a superb crafter of the novel length metaphor, Kingsolver brings apocalyptic fire and flood to the front door of our consciousness in a novel about human destructiveness brought about by greed. She makes it clear and plain that it isn't things that will make our lives better in the "next" world already upon us. Our only hope of salvation is turning our backs on the kind of materialistic existence we've over-enjoyed and learning new ways to think of our lives in co-existence with Nature. She places her hopes in education and lessons of conservation and respect of our natural surroundings. Earth is through forgiving us our trespasses.Recommend this book to all nature lovers, science lovers, lovers of learning, and especially to doubters who tremble with indecision about accepting the facts that define the one world we can live in.
  • (4/5)
    Bound together by harsh truths related to poverty, disappointment, and climate change, Kingsolver's Flight Behavior moves forward with her signature lyric prose, weaving worlds that are both foreign and familiar. As always, her characters are not just believable, but engaging and, if anything, too realistic and familiar for comfort. In this novel in particular, the children and the odd mix of central characters are the heart of the work, illustrating the heartbreaking disconnect between devoted naturalists and a community which is necessarily held outside of that world by economic concerns and personal crises of their own.Even though it took some time for me to engage with Kingsolver's narrator here, I ended up not being able to put the book down once I'd moved through maybe a quarter of the novel, and the compelling story that evolves in the work held me in until the end. My only complaint, in the end, is with the ending. The wrap-up felt not only rushed, but unbelievable on some levels of plotting and character, and after such a wonderful tale, I really expected more. Despite the ending, though, the book was well worth reading and passing on.Overall, recommended. The ending is the only thing that will hold this off from remaining a favorite of mine.
  • (4/5)
    Lots of detail in this book about the migratory behavior of butterflies along with an internal narrative of the main character, Dellarobia. Change is the theme - environmental and human - beautifully crafted and developed by Kingsolver. I appreciated the delicate parenting touches, strife within a family, and desire to be "true to self". Overall, an intelligent, witty, and thought-provoking book with long sections of informational science woven throughout.
  • (5/5)
    Dellarobia is a young parent disenchanted with her marriage. She is the first to encounter a large population of Monarch butterflies have found their way to her Appalachian mountain area. The townspeople take this beautiful sight for a religious blessing, but the scientists who arrive bring dire news of climate change.The writing is beautiful, the characters are believable, and it is an absorbing multi-layered story.
  • (4/5)
    Dellarobia Turnbow is unhappy in her shotgun marriage of eleven years and about to start an affair, when she sees an amazing sight: butterflies all over the trees on her mountain, monarchs that have migrated to Appalachia instead of the mountain ranges in Mexico where they are supposed to go. In the midst of the media and familial frenzy, scientists and regular people from around the country descend on Dellarobia's tiny town and may just change her life forever.Though I don't always agree with Barbara Kingsolver's points of view, I think she is a fabulous writer and always makes me think. This was not her best executed novel, as she does get preachy about global warming and I read some of her characters as taking the "if you don't agree with me it's not an honest disagreement, you're just ignorant/unschooled/stupid" stance, and not just about global warming. That, and Dellarobia comes across as so much smarter, so much a deeper thinker, and so much wasted potential if she'd only gone to college instead of getting married than the other characters. Don't get me wrong, Dellarobia herself is a fascinating character and I enjoyed going along for the ride, as the book's themes and language are lovingly laid out. Though the narrative is third person, much of the story is still told from Dellarobia's point of view, so it could be that she herself was kind of holding herself "above" everyone else, and this does get a little more nuanced at the end when she starts to see others in a new light. I'll enjoy seeing what my book group has to say about it.
  • (4/5)
    Flight Behavior is compelling novel where climate change is the main theme tucked into the story of the domestic life of a rural Tennessee family. It is also about the social fabric and class struggles of contemporary Appalachia. This is a story with realistic characters, not always likable but always interesting, who have problems that seem to overshadow the tragedy of an environment run amuck around them. Climate change is the real tragedy that is presented in this book along with the seemingly insurmountable problem that science has in presenting information to people who don't want it, feel inconvenienced by it and are afraid of it? Flight Behavior deals in important issues, but addresses them on the personal level. It's clear that Kingsolver is passionate about portraying the fragility of nature, and why we should care about it. I recommend this fascinating book.




  • (3/5)
    So, here's the deal... I came across Kingsolver in high school by way of the usual mandatory reading list. My first encounter being The Bean Trees. What attracted me then has the same cast and lure now; primarily her intelligence and divine character development. Whenever I come up for air out of one of her works I have the sense that her characters are all mixed up and formulated in some literary lab she has rumbling around in the back of her brain at all times, fleshed out genuinely by her experiences and perception of the human condition.

    This is what kept me in this book. I didn't have a lot of fondness for the characters (besides the kids) but they definitely grew into realities on the pages and made it worth the read.
  • (5/5)
    Barbara Kingsolver's latest book opens with Dellarobia Turnbow running up the mountain behind her family home for a short sighted, adulterous tryst that she fully acknowledges will destroy life as she knows it. At age 28, her lifetime has been confined to a small mountain town in rural eastern Tennessee where she is the mother of two young children and the wife of Cub, who is dominated by his own parents. This opening passage of Dellarobia's first flight is aborted by what at first appears to be a fire of biblical proportions on the mountain, but turns out to be butterflies....a mountainside full of butterflies. With this very metaphorical opening, Kingsolver leads the reader into a fictive exploration of the impact of climate change as well as commentary on social impact of globalization on job strapped American towns. Shortly after Dellarobia discovers the butterflies, it becomes clear that her father-in-law is about to have the remote mountainside logged off to raise cash in order to avoid foreclosure on the entire family farm. She challenges her husband and in-laws to at least take a look at the mountain before having it clear cut, thus leading them to also discover the huge colony of "King Billy" buterflies. The phenomenon of the butterflies moves the story from a spiritual to community to scientifically loaded event as the news travels. It is a story of both caution and redemption woven with the author's keen insight into her characters. There are many good turns of phrase through out the book. As when reflecting on a mother-daughter pair in the story Dellarobia wonders, "How could two people get the same set of parts and make such different constructions? But then again, there was the raising.....What could a doormat rear but a pair of boots?" (p. 81 hardcover)
  • (4/5)
    Dellarobia is walking into the mountains on a fool's errand, ready to throw her life away, when she happens upon a magical sight-- a valley filled with Monarch butterflies. This story follows everything that happens after that moment-- the wonder, the confusion, the fear regarding what it all means.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. 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.
  • (4/5)
    did not "get' this book to start with and found it almost to be in the past until i gave it another go and actaully got into it , it was the situation and the town that this family were living in that made it seem surreal , but then the butterfly situation and the global warming theory all made sense and the "hopelessness" of life as humans and insects and nature made sense . In the end i really enjoted it . loved her best friend Davey's reality check on everything .
  • (5/5)
    Dellarobia’s life changed at seventeen when an unplanned pregnancy forced her into marriage…the same year she was orphaned when her mother succumbed to cancer. Despite a miscarriage, she stayed in her marriage to Cub, a man whose life is defined by his parents – the rigid Bear and his opinionated and religious wife, Hester. Now, ten years later, Dellarobia is disillusioned with her life as mom to two young children, barely scraping by on a small sheep farm in Feathertown, Tennessee on the edge of the Appalachian mountains. She longs for a brighter future, a more romantic relationship than the one she has with Cub, and an escape from the poverty and sameness of each day. So one day she heads up the mountain to consummate a tryst with the telephone guy. But instead of discovering love, Dellarobia finds the trees on the mountain aflame with Monarch butterflies. Believing this to be a message from God, she turns back down the mountain and vows to stay in her marriage and make it work. The butterflies soon become a sensation, bringing a team of scientists to Dellarobia and Cub’s farm and upending the tenuous balance in a family which is living on the edge.Barbara Kingsolver’s newest novel explores the impact of global warming and the divide between science and religion. Kingsolver lightens these heavy themes with warm hearted, genuine characters and a finely wrought sense of humor balanced by poignancy. Dellarobia is an insightful, smart woman who has been denied an education. She loves her kids. She grapples with her faith. She longs for a life of beauty and meaning. She is one of those characters who a reader can get behind even though she is far from perfect.Kingsolver lays down a dilemma for Dellarobia: Should she stay in her life and make it work, or should she take flight? Her journey is symbolized by that of the butterflies – insects who migrate thousands of miles even though they have never been shown the way. What choices do we have when faced with potential catastrophe and the unknown? How do we determine truth? What factors influence our decisions and beliefs?I am a huge Kingsolver fan. I love her beautiful prose, her complex characters, her sense of humor, and the relevancy of her themes. I expected to love this book, and it did not disappoint me. Critics of the global warming argument may be put off by the underlying message regarding the dire nature of environmental change, but no one can fault Kingsolver’s imagination and ability to bring to life a set of characters facing one of the most controversial topics facing this generation. It is her skill at character development against the backdrop of nature where Kingsolver shines, and in Dellarobia, she has given her readers a character who is truly memorable.Highly Recommended.
  • (4/5)
    This was okay, but not my favorite Kingsolver. It didn't knock me to the ground, as did The Poisonwood Bible or The Lacuna. That said, there is some good stuff here: climate change is indeed an important topic and I'm glad that Kingsolver chose to center this book around it and use the monarch migration as the book's focal point. Dellarobia makes a good story teller, but her deep frustration and unhappiness in her life sometimes made her hard to empathize with. I think its Dovey (the BFF) who says that Dellarobia doesn't let people get away with much and she's totally right on. It was hard to read Dellarobia's endless criticism of her husband, who, for all the faults she found with him, didn't really seem to be a bad guy. Likewise, Dellarobia's nearly palpable dislike of her mother in law, Hester, was also uncomfortable and it surprised me that not until nearly the end of the book that Dellarobia might not think that Hester might have some good reasons to be unhappy and cold herself. Nevertheless, Dellarobia did a good job representing the feelings of every day people who remain convinced that climate change is some sort of big hoax and her redemption comes when she begins to accept the idea. She's clearly intimidated by science and the scientists camped out in her barn to study the butterflies, but slowly becomes aware of the narrowness of her life and of her thinking. I'm not sure how realistic I think the ending is, but Dellarobia's separation from Cub didn't seem too shocking. I didn't think she could go back to her old life, either, after having learned so much about not only science, but herself and the world around her.
  • (5/5)
    The book begins with a forest aflame with color, but no fire, except that kindled in the heart of a woman. As the fire is kindled in her heart, her life is transformed.
  • (5/5)
    I picked up an ARC of Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, FLIGHT BEHAVIOR, last week at BEA with anticipation and apprehension. Mostly anticipation, because I’m a huge fan of Kingsolver’s fiction and have read several of her novels multiple times. In fact, there’s a quote from ANIMAL DREAMS that has been thumb-tacked on the bulletin board over my writing desk since I first read that book in 1990: “The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.”

    But I was also apprehensive. Although I love Kingsolver’s prose and greatly admire her courage in writing fiction that tackles important subjects, I sometimes feel “preached at” when I read her more recent novels, starting with PRODIGAL SUMMER. I accept that I’m probably more sensitive than most readers to this authorial intrusion. I am so aware of that risk in my own writing and work so hard to banish the lecturing voice.

    The opening paragraphs of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR captivated me. A bored young wife and mother is en route up the mountain to “throw away her life” through adultery when she sees a Tennessee mountain version of a burning bush and reconsiders. Dellarobia is a compelling character; she is smart and self-aware, deeply entrenched in her family and her culture but thoughtful and critical of it. Her response to what she sees on the mountain trigger a cascade of events that bring national attention to her Appalachian community and change her life. Once again, Kingsolver uses her scientific training and considerable descriptive abilities to engage the reader with a critical socio-political issue.

    My apprehension, however, was also valid. Kingsolver chooses to lecture the reader, though her characters, in large and small ways throughout the narrative. Most of the time, I could let these literary skewers pass with just a sigh, but occasionally they jarred me from the story. Even so, this novel with its perfect pacing, nuanced characters, and beautifully articulated yearnings is one of the most satisfying books I’ve read in a long time.
  • (3/5)
    I finished the science fiction polemic Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver structured by this scientist novelist to be a literary novel. The dynamic protagonist is contrasted with her static best friend, both of whom are too good to be true. Secrets are revealed, but none of them are interesting enough or interestingly enough revealed to bother spoiling the raveling of the plot for others who get lured into this book.Science is good. Ignorance is not so good but is to be understood. People lead lives.I read this for my church book group.
  • (5/5)
    What a wonderful and significant book! The voice of the narrator and main character, twentysomething Dellarobia, was pitch perfect and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this story about a monarch butterfly colony's relocation to a southern Appalachian farm.
  • (3/5)
    I liked it more than I thought I might because of some early reads. There are still some beautiful turns of phrase, some beautiful moments, some heartbreak. "Her most commercial book" is still a good read.