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Flight Behavior

A Novel
Kingsolver, Barbara (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Flight Behavior


Item Details

Set in the present day in the rural community of Feathertown, Tennessee, this novel tells the story of Dellarobia Turnbow, a petite, razor-sharp 29-year-old who nurtured worldly ambitions before becoming pregnant and marrying at seventeen. Now, after more than a decade of tending to small children on a failing farm, oppressed by poverty, isolation and her husband's antagonistic family, she has mitigated her boredom by surrendering to an obsessive flirtation with a handsome younger man. In the opening scene, Dellarobia is headed for a secluded mountain cabin to meet this man and initiate what she expects will be a self-destructive affair. But the tryst never happens. Instead, she walks into something on the mountainside she cannot explain or understand: a forested valley filled with a lake of silent red fire that appears to her a miracle. In reality, the forest is ablaze with millions of butterflies. Their usual migratory route has been disrupted, and what looks to be a stunningly beautiful view is really an ominous sign, for the Appalachian winter could prove to be the demise of the species. Her discovery of this phenomenon ignites a media and religious firestorm that changes her life forever. After years lived entirely in the confines of one small house, Dellarobia finds her path suddenly opening out, chapter by chapter, into blunt and confrontational engagement with her family, her church, her town, her continent, and finally the world at large.
Authors: Kingsolver, Barbara
Title: Flight behavior
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Harper,, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 436 p. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Barbara Kingsolver
Summary: Set in the present day in the rural community of Feathertown, Tennessee, this novel tells the story of Dellarobia Turnbow, a petite, razor-sharp 29-year-old who nurtured worldly ambitions before becoming pregnant and marrying at seventeen. Now, after more than a decade of tending to small children on a failing farm, oppressed by poverty, isolation and her husband's antagonistic family, she has mitigated her boredom by surrendering to an obsessive flirtation with a handsome younger man. In the opening scene, Dellarobia is headed for a secluded mountain cabin to meet this man and initiate what she expects will be a self-destructive affair. But the tryst never happens. Instead, she walks into something on the mountainside she cannot explain or understand: a forested valley filled with a lake of silent red fire that appears to her a miracle. In reality, the forest is ablaze with millions of butterflies. Their usual migratory route has been disrupted, and what looks to be a stunningly beautiful view is really an ominous sign, for the Appalachian winter could prove to be the demise of the species. Her discovery of this phenomenon ignites a media and religious firestorm that changes her life forever. After years lived entirely in the confines of one small house, Dellarobia finds her path suddenly opening out, chapter by chapter, into blunt and confrontational engagement with her family, her church, her town, her continent, and finally the world at large.
ISBN: 9780062124265
0062124269
Branch Call Number: FICTION KINGSOLVE 2012
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Report This Jan 26, 2014
  • BTVS rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Kingslover is not a consistently good writer, I have not enjoyed much of her recent work but I did enjoy this book. The symbolism of the breakdown of rural life and protagonists' marriage with the breakdown of environment due to climate change is brilliant. The glimpses into family life, rummaging through the second hand stores or negotiating relations with a crusty mother-in-law are charming. The long diatribes about the reality of climate change put into the mouth of the scientist were unsuitable for an informed audience but perhaps Kingslover knows many of her audience, like Bear and Hester, don't believe in a god who would allow harm to come to those who are truly saved.

I have read many of Kingsolvers books. The overall story was interesting, but the character development and small details left something to be desired. I look forward to reading more Kingsolver, however, this is not my first recommendation for first-timers.

Report This Nov 29, 2013
  • diggie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sometimes clunky but alive and passionate. i think the heart of the novel is a quiet scene about the delicacy of buying second hand clothes in a small town.

Not my first Kingsolver book and certainly not my last. She has a great gift of character development. This book was deeply moving and showed not just literally the woman moving from being a young, uneducated mother to an educated engaged community leader but also gave us an insight into the frustration of those deeply involved in saving the environment, which the majority of us don't get and don't care enough about. Great book.

Report This Oct 24, 2013
  • ITC rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

It took a long time to get through it because I kept falling asleep. I didn't need to read a fiction book to know that climate change is affecting the earth. I finished the book because many people gave it a high rating, but it was a yawner.

Report This Oct 02, 2013
  • jtkretzschmar rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Kingsolver's book The Poisonwood Bible at one point was slated to win the Pulitzer prize, this book if at all possible, was more important, and more meaningful than that book. It shed light on my own ignorance of poor, uneducated towns across the World. It did this at the same time as explaining global warming in a way that not one person could deny I don't think. One of the best conclusions to a novel that I have read all year.

Report This Sep 23, 2013
  • slarsen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Outstanding story. Got very attached to the very bright and loving Dellarobia. I rooted for her from beginning to end. Strong characters. I could easily relate to them. I got aqn excellent lesson in, of all things: Butterflies. It was easily digested. Really happy to find a new author and I'm looking forward to more mind enrichening stories.

Report This Aug 20, 2013
  • finn75 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. For me it was about the transformation of the main character as she struggles to move on from the situation she finds herself in and grow into her own possibilities. A lovely book about climate change, reaching your potential and what new experiences can do to your life.

I really wanted to like this book, but it was just too dull. Characters weren't compelling enough and I didn't learn anything new about butterflies either.

Report This Jul 31, 2013
  • SusannahElf rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I was really disappointed in this book. I found it preachy and very dull. As a climate change "believer", and a monarch butterfly follower, I learned nothing from this book, and found it lacked Kingsolver's usual depth. Read or re-read The Lacuna - it was amazing!

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