Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, 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. 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.
©2012 Barbara Kingsolver (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
Oh, to hear this read in Barbara's own soft Kentucky accent was a treat in itself. And the storytelling kept my interest despite it being a lot more preachy than her other novels. Not her best (Prodigal Summer is still my favorite), but a good read.
Nope, I was already there.
Yes, because her writing is elegant, her metaphors so well-crafted and breathtaking.
Not a thing!
Strong, Interesting, Southern
Kingsolver does a great job of reading her own book, and it is a great one. In one sense the book is about climae change, but is suffused with a great American story of a southern woman in a dead end situation. Kingsolver gets her point across without being preachy.
I loved this story, and the author's narration drew me in right from the start. Each character had a unique voice. It worked for me on so many levels- how the characters developed, the way it addressed climate change.
In some ways I think my favorite character was Hester, the main character's mother in law. Her revelations helped move the Dellarobia along her own path.
Dellarobia's developmental arc kept me rooting for her. Ovid was so alive and vivid.
I was moved by the scene of the birth of the lamb, and felt it gave voice to the unspoken aspects of Cub and Dellarobia's stillbirth- it was as if this let them share their grief.
I loved the way Dellarobia told her son of the upcoming changes in their life?
illuminates the process of widening one's life
All of the passages about Dellarobbia's children are so authentic, believable and sweet.
I have not listened to any of Barbara Kingsolver's books, but I have read them. This one was not as funny and readable as The Bean Trees or Pigs in Heaven, but is wonderful in its own way.
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this novel. Really love it when the author is narrating.
The scientist would be the most interesting dinner companion.
Sericulturalist and horticulturalist, mad scientist and earth oven baker.
Barara is a time-tested expert who knows her stuff. This is fiction that has the credibility of a scienific journal. Come for the fiction, stay for the truth!
Can't stop listening
As usual, Kingsolver brings characters to life in all their flawed beauty and realism. We feel we know them and even better, understand them. Flight Behavior has a point of view, but not exactly what you might expect and not a simple one. Kingsolver often gives us a complex reality dressed in butterfly wings. The story was original and even the characters struggled to make sense of it. But it is a metaphor for all the changes we face, whether personal or global in nature, how we deal with circumstances when they fall outside what we know. Another beauty and another one that sticks with the reader.
Kingsolver's use of metaphor and beautifully phrased prose.
Dellarobia, the central character, wonders through a second hand store with her best friend and her children. The manner in which Kingsolver describes her discoveries is gorgeous
Authentically southern cadence
It was the only Audible book I've ever listened to twice in a row.
At first, I struggled with Kingsolver's pacing as she narrated, but when my ear adjusted to her cadence, I fell in love with the story.
It is too lovely and too dark and too beautiful and such a home story.
Her descriptions of the children are so full of accurate love.
Margeret Atwood Handmaids Tale. Doris Lessing - Good Terrorist, Fifth Child, The Marriage between Zones (etc)
Gary Snyder in its writing on nature.
Her love of her own language. The book was not acted. It feels like she made it up as she went along just for you as she speaks.
This is Barbara Kingsolver at her best, introducing a subject she is passionate about, in the context of a funny, sad, moving, fascinating story about a young American woman. The subject is global warming (aka climate change). This book is an engaging, engrossing fictional version of Al Gore's important policy book An Inconvenient Truth.
There's so much to enjoy -- let's start with the names. Petite Dellarobia Turnbow is our protagonist; all is from her POV. She lives in tiny, insignificant Feathertown in the Tennessee Appalachians, where the high school math teacher was mainly the basketball coach and used most class-times to shoot hoops with the boys. Dellarobia lives with her husband Burleigh, universally known as Cub, a huge, dense, sweet man whose childhood can't end, since his father's nickname is Bear. Cub's mother, who acts like a classic wicked stepmother, is named Hester. (You'll find out why late in the story.)
Under embarrassing circumstances, Dellarobia discovers that millions of Monarch butterflies are roosting in a grove near the top of a mountain on the Turnbow land. She convinces her husband to take a look, and next the congregation of their church is calling the phenomenon a miracle.
The Outsider who arrives in Feathertown (in a rented, orange VW bug) is the scientist Ovid Byron, a professor and world expert on the Monarch butterflies. With impulsive Southern hospitality, Dellarobia invites him to dinner, then spends the rest of the day in panic, cleaning the worn, dilapidated state of her household and its furnishings.
Kingsolver nails children's behavior perfectly, and this book is full of examples. Dellarobia's 5-year-old son Preston is serious, nerdy, clearly a future scientist. Her daughter Cordelia, age 1, is the rebel, flinging her uncomb-able blonde curls and her applesauce around the house with reckless enthusiasm. There are a couple of classic shopping scenes which every mom will recognize.
For me, the high point of the book is the interview of Ovid Byron by Tina, a perfectly-groomed CNN reporter.
Kingsolver's language is exciting and always appropriate. Dellarobia's sense of humor and metaphors are gleaned from her own life, and the same is true for each of the characters. Example: Dellarobia and Cub are in his truck at the Dairy Prince for a rare meal away from home. She likens this to a date, as they used to have before their marriage. Cub disagrees. Not the same. Now there's a different engine in his truck.
Listen to this book! It's read by the author, who does a great job, even with accents. She did a lot of research, too, so the details of this fictional story are correct.
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