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
Toronto, Canada. Audible enthusiast since 2001.
This book was beautifully written, with many literary devices thrown in, making it really rich for analysis. The main character was so believable and I couldn't help but sympathize with her reflections on her own choices. The main theme of irrevocable choices and the paths they lead us down was common both to the character's life and the state of the planet, as illustrated by the butterflies. The message at the end -- that we can get off the path, but it's really hard -- reverberated again in personal choices and global ones. There are also some interesting points of reflection: that we have to make some hard choices in personal consumption to avoid environmental disasters, and that for many, these aren't even choices -- just the way poorer people live. Also that we tend to choose our personal beliefs based on the people we associate with, rather than thinking critically for ourselves, and that it becomes difficult to even begin to think critically, because we are only paying attention to those who believe what we believe. The juxtaposition of this Appalachian shotgun-housewife with a Caribbean/American entomologist sets the stage for reflexivity and change. I love that Barbara Kingsolver read the book herself -- her reading is lyrical.
Flight Behavior is a book that has stayed with me from the moment I listened to it on Audible. It was a book that I purchased for my own library as well as a gift for both my mother and mother-in-law. There is no questioning that Barbara Kingsolver knows how to write a good story. It's an important subject, told in away that you just can't turn away from. This book is narrated by the author making it easy to listen to. I could focus on the content without being distracted.
At the top
Warm and believable
Well no, but I wouldn't consider doing that with any book. But I did, very often, have a hard time shutting it off.
My first impression of this story, based on just a few minutes of listening, was: “chick flick”, and I came very close to turning it off and giving it a single star rating; so I could get a refund! I was not up for True Romance! How glad I am that I didn’t do that, because this story turned out to be one of the most entertaining stories I’ve listened to from Audible.
Half way through the book I realized it wasn’t just the telling story of a farm family, revealed in a remarkably warm and realistic way; detailing the most intimate aspects of life on a sheep farm, and inside the workings of a nuclear family struggling to stay afloat; but a story with a message.
That message began to evolve somewhere in the middle of the book, and was inserted so cleverly that it seemed to appear full blown; in an instant, out of nowhere, and with such skill that it did not shatter it’s container; the story that could have very well stood on its own.
I highly recommend this title; in fact, I believe it should be required reading!
Yes, it was interesting and good for a long trip.
Global warming and it's impact. the cultural aspect is very interesting, though quite frustrating. Insight to much that is going on today and how isolated areas that are governed by fundamentalist churches, small, suspicious communities, poor access to outside information and lack of belief in science are affecting us all.
I was frustrated with this book. Though it would have been unrealistic to expect the changes I would have liked to see, the book stayed true to the area and culture it represented.
I have and loved them.
Not really my genre. But I usually enjoy her books. I was shocked at how bad this book was.
Her accent seemed to make the people sound simple minded, when they weren't.
She rambled sooooo long on stuff I had to fast forward. I dreaded listening to this one.
New to audible but love the convenience of listening to books while doing mundane household tasks. Mother of 3 whose nest is 2/3 empty as the grown children move on to bigger and better things.
I enjoyed learning about the Monarch Butterfly and it's migration pattern. I didn't really think the story surrounding it was very interesting.
I loved her book "The Poisonwood Bible" but that's the only other one I've read. This was not nearly as good.
Really nothing special about this book. I would not recommend it to friends.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
I waited a long time before I got this book. It looked interesting but without a little more detail, I should have known better. It took several starts but I finally got through it. I am not an environmentalist but I know there are some things that humans are responsible for messing up in this world. I don't like to read a book for enjoyment and find a lecture on how we are ruining the earth. Maybe it is true, maybe not, but don't expect me to enjoy a lecture when I am looking for an enjoyable story.
As the main character learns about the butterflies, she discovers herself.
I was raised in the north so I'd like to have seen a more realistic approach to dressing for the weather, tromping around in cold and snow.
Kingsolver has such a sense of place. She knows the lives, the social problems and the strengths of the people of Appalachia. Since she herself reads the work, she does the local accents so well.
I agree with critics who have called the work a bit preachy on environmental/ecology/education issues, but it is still a wonderful read, and I cared about the main characters.
It's a very important novel about real world concerns about climate change. Slow to get into but worth the effort.
While a novel, the story educates one about the monarch butterflies flight and plight as well as the world's current precarious hold.
Read by the author makes it a bit more special.
I loved this. I work in a climate-related field and I really appreciated how she embedded science in a completely engaging story. Yes, it was ever so slightly didactic, but the emotional truth-telling more than made up for it, as planetary change whirled individual lives into larger patterns and brought different segments of society together. It worked well as an audiobook because each moment and scene stood on its own, and the slower pace than reading allowed me to savor the fine word choices. Never did I have to try to remind myself who a character was or where they fit into the plot. Kingsolver's voice also turns out to be perfectly pitched and paced to read her own work. I loved it. Did I say that?
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