Flight Behavior

A Novel

Kingsolver, Barbara

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Flight Behavior
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.

Publisher: New York : Harper, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062124265
Branch Call Number: FICTION KINGSOLVE 2012
Characteristics: 436 p. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

Join the discussion on June 16, 2015. In a riveting story by the author of The Poisonwood Bible, a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee experiences something she cannot explain. Her discovery energizes various competing factions, trapping her in the center of the conflict an... Read More »

Join us for the discussion on Aug. 12, 2015. A young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee experiences something she cannot explain. Her discovery energizes various competing factions, trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world.

In this novel, Dellarobia, a discontented farm wife, discovers millions of butterflies living on the mountain behind her home. Scientists come to find out what has caused the butterflies to change their flight behavior, and what happens next changes Dellarobia’s life.

Kingsolver draws upon her prodigious knowledge of the natural world to enlighten readers about the intricacies of the migration patterns of monarch butterflies while linking their behavior to the even more fascinating conduct of the human species. - Library Journal

Smart Dellarobia got pregnant young, and finds herself stuck in a small life. She's about to blow up that life when, climbing up a mountain on her family's property, she sees the valley filled with a lake of silent red fire that appears to her a miracle. In reality, the forest is ablaze with mil... Read More »

From the critics

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Jan 08, 2015
  • nelephant rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Five stars!

Excellent read on so many levels. 1. The growth of a young woman with gentle respect for her personhood as well as her emerging environmental conscience..
2. A sad yet somehow comical look at a small town.
3. Science fiction..a story which really could happen, and makes you ponder:" What would I do?"
Barbara Kingsolver always describes beauty in such well crafted words! A vacation for the imagination which left me refreshed and ready to care tenderly for our earth.

Sep 13, 2014
  • nancy12849 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Just not what I expected by the reviews and from Ms. Kingsolver. Very slow - need to push through. Not one I would recommend.

Jul 02, 2014
  • j7swiftlib rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Poor Babs peaked with Poisonwood Bible. Hard to enjoy this one. It attempts to be smart and funny but ends up a yawner.

Jul 01, 2014
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

There are many reasons to like this book, including its overall theme of climate change and the role of scientists in communicating to the public. However, the story of a working class Appalachian family, while sympathetic, was too predictable.

May 06, 2014

Another great book by Kingsolver. She weaves an important environmental message into an interesting story, using her wonderfully descriptive images.

Jan 26, 2014
  • DanglingConversations 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.

Nov 30, 2013

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.

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.

Oct 24, 2013

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.

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.

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