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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kathryn
  • Brookline, MA, United States
  • 03-04-13

Worst. Accent. Ever.

Would you try another book from Barbara Kingsolver and/or Barbara Kingsolver?

I loved the Bean Trees, Prodigal Summer, and the Poisonwood Bible, so I was excited to see a new Barbara Kingsolver novel come out. Sadly, Flight Behavior was slow, boring, and preachy... even a little depressing. Added to that, the narration was simply awful and hard to listen to.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Barbra Kingsolver's portrayal of a Virgin Islander's accent was at first laughable, and then downright annoying.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • SG
  • BREMERTON, WA, United States
  • 01-06-13

Excellent listening experience

It was a real treat listening to Barbara Kingsolver read her own book. She has a beautiful voice, and I felt the reading was genuine -- not an outside interpretation. The Appalachian setting and attitudes of the people are believable in my experience, having lived there for a few years. I loved the heroine, Dellarobia -- Kingsolver's best so far. Imagery and symbolism, as they relate to nature and global warming, are powerful and moving.

As the story goes on, voices get lost (Dr. Byron suddenly disappears) and the plot becomes mired in rhetoric. This may sound serious, but there is so much momentum at this point that I never considered putting the book down.

If you've ever admired a butterfly -- or a sheep -- you will love this book as I did.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Awful

What disappointed you about Flight Behavior?

The narration was terrible. I couldn't get past the 6th chapter because of the narration, and the book is so boring.

Would you be willing to try another one of Barbara Kingsolver’s performances?

No. I wouldn't ever buy another book that she narrates.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Sadly, it didn't have any redeeming qualities at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

So disappointing!

I was discussing Kingsolver with a pal the other day, so I had to come back and review this sad book. Sad subject, sad thrown-together attempt to make an important ecological argument in a 'woman-finding-herself' novel...what a mess!
Ms. Kingsolver's early books are like magical chants to me, almost; the settings so Southwest I feel the heat, desert quiet, 'animal dreams'......but this book feels like a throw-away, like she owed the publisher one more. I was shocked. It is just really awful.
If she wanted to make a statement about the loss of monarch butterflies, she should have written an essay, as a biologist, for a periodical.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • Duluth, MN, United States
  • 08-21-13

Another Haunting Story from Barbara Kingsolver

What did you love best about Flight Behavior?

The story was very compelling. While listening to the book I had to keep reminding myself that this book is a novel.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Dellarobia is a complex character. She evolved into a champion for the natural world around her.

Which character – as performed by Barbara Kingsolver – was your favorite?

Dellarobia

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were many moments, and the book continues to haunt me. Barbara Kingsolver has written a powerful story that illustrates the diverse challenges that we face as climate change intensifies.

Any additional comments?

This book obviously required extensive research. Barbara 's fiction highlights a topic that is intentionally obfuscated by those with political and economic agendas. I believe that climate change has to be addressed by bold measures....and soon! Thank you Barbara for using your incredible writing talents to move the conversation along,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Erin
  • Mt. Airy, MD, United States
  • 07-20-13

Not Kingslover's best work

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This novel is s.l.o.w... Wow, I kept thinking something exciting was going to happen--it never did.

Has Flight Behavior turned you off from other books in this genre?

FB has no real characters to fall in love with.

Any additional comments?

This is a novel to skip--even if you love butterflies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Enthous
  • St. Paul, MN USA
  • 07-14-13

Leave the reading to the pros

I love Ms. Kingsolver's writing and have read most of her books, but I will never listen to the audio version of another one that she reads. This book, although not one of my favorites of hers, was a good story, and in the typical Kingsolver fashion, manages to educate about an important topic while keeping us entertained using wonderful prose and interesting characters. There was a lot of scientific detail about Monarch butterflies that some might find tedious, but I enjoyed. Apparently I'm as big a nerd as she is.

However, she's not an actor and does not do her work justice by performing the reading herself. Her voice doesn't have the full, round tones we've come to expect in an audio book. I have seen her in person, when she read a few pages of a book and that was great, but she doesn't have the talent or training to pull off an entire novel.

Her reading of the dialog was actually okay: not great, but a good amateur performance. I'm no linguist so I can't say whether her accents were accurate, but they were good enough for my untrained ear. Certainly better than I would have done in my head had I read the book. It was the narrative portions of the book that drove me to distraction. It was plodding and cumbersome, and I was constantly aware of her trying to enunciate each word carefully. The intonations were exaggerated and it felt like I was being read to by a kindergarten teacher who couldn't break out of her usual role.

Please, Ms Kingsolver, keep to what you were born to do: write. After all, would any of us have benefited if Arthur Miller insisted he had to play Willie Loman?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Foibilist
  • Lexington, VA, United States
  • 06-24-13

Contrived characters and development.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who does not think about a character's ringing true--someone who may like stories about women who feel a bit sorry for themselves while at the same time believing they have all or none of the answers to Life.

What could Barbara Kingsolver have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Let someone else read her work. A reader she is not. Make her characters ring true. Don't use the plight of the butterflies as a cover for a Bridges of Madison County type book.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Slow, lack of variation in reading, almost as if she didn't understand the book. Actually this might be true. She is not a reader.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

For me, none.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time or money. She has written good books, but this one is a disaster.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Boring

What disappointed you about Flight Behavior?

I found this book to be laborious and dull. Not at all like "Poisonwood". Some things just seemed to be amateurish (the mother-in-law especially) in character development and the relationship with the lead. I really struggled to read the whole thing. I didn't care what happened. And I am an ecologically supportive kind of person with a certified Monarch Habitat. It should have interested me. But no.

What could Barbara Kingsolver have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Add some energy, some real tension. The tension was weak.

What three words best describe Barbara Kingsolver’s performance?

Dull. Hire a trained professional. Sorry to be mean - but it may have been better if performed better.

What character would you cut from Flight Behavior?

Mother-in-law. Weird dead newborn with 'fur'. That was silly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Little Heavy Handed

The narration is perfect for the story, but the environmental message behind the plot is a little heavy handed. If you already know a lot about ecology, the revelations of the main character aren't as awe inspiring as the author would like them to be. If you are looking for your first Kingsolver book, listen to The Poisonwood Bible. It is riveting!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful