Flight Behavior: A Novel

by Barbara Kingsolver

Hardcover, 2012

Call number




Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, 448 pages


Tired of living on a failing farm and suffering oppressive poverty, bored housewife Dellarobia Turnbow, on the way to meet a potential lover, is detoured by a miraculous event on the Appalachian mountainside that ignites a media and religious firestorm that changes her life forever.

Media reviews

Climate change, for every good and topical reason, headlines Barbara Kingsolver’s marvelous eighth novel. But not to be undersold are its characters, rendered so believably and affectionately, they warm the atmosphere on their own.
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...... Kingsolver's masterly evocation of an age – ours, here, now – stumbling wilfully blind towards the abyss is an elegy not just for the endangered monarch butterfly, but for the ambitious, flawed species that conjured the mass extinction of which its loss is a part. Urgent issues demand
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important art. Flight Behaviour rises – with conscience and majesty – to the occasion of its time.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member lit_chick
“The forest blazed with its own internal flame. 'Jesus,' she said, not calling for help, she and Jesus weren’t that close, but putting her voice in the world because nothing else present made sense … The flame now appeared to lift from individual treetops in showers of orange sparks,
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exploding the way a pine log does in a campfire when it’s poked. A forest fire, if that’s what it was, would roar. This consternation swept the mountain in perfect silence." (Ch 1)

Flight Behavior is set in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee where Dellrobia Turnbow, a teenage bride come rural farm wife, discovers a spectacular migration of Monarch butterflies. Unfortunately, it is global warming, a “sickness of nature,” which has caused the Monarchs to deviate to Tennessee from their usual winter home in Mexico. The Turnbow farm is soon home to world-class scientists studying the phenomenon of the Monarchs. Dellarobia finds herself immersed in a world of knowledge, information, and learning, associating with persons well-educated and well-travelled. The experience prompts her to reflect on the “bleak helplessness” with which she views her life’s circumstances. While she loves both husband and children, her simple farm life is a far cry from the college education and professional career she aspired to. Intensely unhappy, she has gone so far as to exhibit “flight behaviour” of her own, but none of her forays have amounted to more than undignified obsessions. Now the Monarchs have opened a new world to her. As their very existence is endangered by the threat of cold in the Appalachians, Dellarobia is jarred out of herself and into the enormity of new opportunity. Will it be the impetus for positive change?

”Unearthly beauty had appeared to her, a vision of glory to stop her in the road. For her alone these orange boughs lifted, these long shadows became a brightness rising. It looked like the inside of joy, if a person could see that. A valley of lights, an ethereal wind. It had to mean something.” (Ch 1)

Kingsolver is an excellent writer and a fine storyteller. Her characters here are masterfully developed as is her sense of small, rural Tennessee. Certainly Flight Behavior is ambitious, touching on, as it does, global warming, education, media bias, poverty, and relationships. Recommended.
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LibraryThing member porch_reader
Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, and I loved her new book Flight Behavior. The main character, Dellarobia Turnbow, is one of the most multi-dimensional characters I have met in a while. She is a stay-at-home mom who loves her two children, but also feels overwhelmed by them. She
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was a teenage bride who has a rocky, but very real relationship with her husband Cub. She is the outsider on a farm run by her in-laws, Bear and Hester, and she dreams of doing something more. When she discovers that monarch butterflies have migrated to the Turnbow farm, she is curious and open to understanding how environmental changes may be responsible for this phenomenon, something that others in her small Appalachian town are unwilling to believe. As the story unfolds, Dellarobia comes to understand herself better even as she struggles to understand the plight of the butterflies.

Just like Dellarobia, many of the supporting characters in the book were genuine and interesting too. The scientist who comes to study the butterflies, Dellarobia's best friend Dovey, Dellarobia's son Preston, and even her toddler daughter Cordelia came to life on the page and rarely struck a false note. The problems that sprang from engagemental changes were similar enough to those that we've already seen occurring in the world to be believable, while also being frightening because they are the next step down a slippery slope. As always, Kingsolver wraps the story in beautiful language, creating pictures on the page that will stay in my mind long after I shelve this volume in the Kingsolver section of my favorite books.
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LibraryThing member writestuff
Dellarobia’s life changed at seventeen when an unplanned pregnancy forced her into marriage…the same year she was orphaned when her mother succumbed to cancer. Despite a miscarriage, she stayed in her marriage to Cub, a man whose life is defined by his parents – the rigid Bear and his
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opinionated and religious wife, Hester. Now, ten years later, Dellarobia is disillusioned with her life as mom to two young children, barely scraping by on a small sheep farm in Feathertown, Tennessee on the edge of the Appalachian mountains. She longs for a brighter future, a more romantic relationship than the one she has with Cub, and an escape from the poverty and sameness of each day. So one day she heads up the mountain to consummate a tryst with the telephone guy. But instead of discovering love, Dellarobia finds the trees on the mountain aflame with Monarch butterflies. Believing this to be a message from God, she turns back down the mountain and vows to stay in her marriage and make it work. The butterflies soon become a sensation, bringing a team of scientists to Dellarobia and Cub’s farm and upending the tenuous balance in a family which is living on the edge.

Barbara Kingsolver’s newest novel explores the impact of global warming and the divide between science and religion. Kingsolver lightens these heavy themes with warm hearted, genuine characters and a finely wrought sense of humor balanced by poignancy. Dellarobia is an insightful, smart woman who has been denied an education. She loves her kids. She grapples with her faith. She longs for a life of beauty and meaning. She is one of those characters who a reader can get behind even though she is far from perfect.

Kingsolver lays down a dilemma for Dellarobia: Should she stay in her life and make it work, or should she take flight? Her journey is symbolized by that of the butterflies – insects who migrate thousands of miles even though they have never been shown the way. What choices do we have when faced with potential catastrophe and the unknown? How do we determine truth? What factors influence our decisions and beliefs?

I am a huge Kingsolver fan. I love her beautiful prose, her complex characters, her sense of humor, and the relevancy of her themes. I expected to love this book, and it did not disappoint me. Critics of the global warming argument may be put off by the underlying message regarding the dire nature of environmental change, but no one can fault Kingsolver’s imagination and ability to bring to life a set of characters facing one of the most controversial topics facing this generation. It is her skill at character development against the backdrop of nature where Kingsolver shines, and in Dellarobia, she has given her readers a character who is truly memorable.

Highly Recommended.
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LibraryThing member hemlokgang
Themes of evolution & global warming, coming of age regardless of age, and intellectual & emotional awakening. Not enough to draw you in? How about lovely prose which brings nature's insistent dominance to life? No? Memorable characters such as Delarobia and her budding scientific son, Preston? How
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can you resist? Kingsolver is at her best in this novel. She tells such an engaging, thought-provoking, and just plain good story! Did I say hopeful? How refreshing!
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LibraryThing member PeggyDean
I have come to expect exceptional writing, both fiction and non-fiction, from Kingsolver, but this book still managed to surpass my expectations. The surprising appearance of millions of monarch butterflies in a small Appalachian town provides an opportunity to explore family relationships, global
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warming, and the difficulties of finding common ground between science and religion. As always, Kingsolver's language is exquisite, often approaching poetry in her use of metaphors and her ability to craft phrases that will linger in a reader's mind. What surprised me about the book was the humor. Church-goers, environmental hangers-on and journalists are all skewered by pointed characterizations. In contrast, Dellarobia, her family members and best friend Dovey are all drawn with compassion and with an understanding of the hard-scrabble nature of rural Appalachia. Rush to read this book, but make sure to get a friend to read it, too. There'll be lots to talk about!
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LibraryThing member CasualFriday
I read and loved The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven many years ago, yet somehow I've neglected Kingsolver's other works. I'll have to rectify that, because I loved her latest novel, about butterflies, climate change, class tensions and feminist enlightenment.

Flight Behavior's protagonist is
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Dellarobia Turnbow, married (via shotgun) to a nice enough but dim sheep farmer who is firmly and quite happily under his mother's thumb. Dellarobia's dream of escape translates into meaningless crushes and an almost-affair, until she encounters a group of monarch butterflies in the hill above her farm. The town takes the monarchs' appearance as a quasi-miracle, but scientist Ovid Byron, who shows up to study them, understands that they are an ominous harbinger of climate change. Dellarobia, nursing a crush on Ovid, becomes his research assistant, and begins to confront her longing for a larger life.

This is one of those books that I read faster than I wanted to - I couldn't put it down, but I really wanted to linger with the characters. Dellarobia was a complex and appealing protagonist, and I empathized with her struggles. Kingsolver's descriptions of the natural world were gorgeous. I loved her use of everyday detail - a trip to the dollar store, for instance - to round out her characters. Very occasionally Kingsolver was too obtrusive with the climate change information, but mostly she weaved the political and personal expertly and created a very moving story.
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LibraryThing member rubyjand
Finally! Taylor and Lou Ann are back in the form of Dellarobia, the one whio didn't get away. Trapped in her Appalachian home and family this young woman is caught up in the wonder and tragedy of monarch butterflies getting lost in an environmental disaster of frightening proportions. The novel is
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a gripping character study as well as a plea to stop destroying the earth. It should be required reading for everybody who can afford to consume more than the planet can afford.
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LibraryThing member SilversReviews
Butterflies that changed someone's mind about an affair? Butterflies that have the entire country flocking to Knoxville, Tennessee?

Yes...butterflies may be what Dellarobia needed to change her boring farm life into something more exciting and something more inclined to her intelligence.

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monarch butterflies and global warming were the main focus of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR. The word "flight" seemed to have two meanings in this book. To me it meant how Dellarobia was trying to flee the doldrums of her life as well as referring to the miracle of the flight of the monarch butterflies who instinctively knew where to go. Her life was never a pleasant one in terms of family and financial situations.

The book had deep meanings but to me I was seeing the surface of the book which focused on Dellarobia's life. The reader will follow Dellarobia through her daily life, her financial struggles, and the unpleasant living conditions she had. She had to live on her in-laws' farm and deal with her critical mother-in-law.

You will feel sorry for Dellarobia and will keep hoping something good will come out of the uproar the butterflies caused on the farm. Dellarobia is an endearing character you will want to talk to, try to help, and wish you could actually meet. Her mother-in-law was someone you wouldn’t want to meet. Her husband was indifferent about everything, and her children were sweet.

FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is an excellent read even though it took a few pages to get you hooked. The characters are what carried the book instead of the storyline. Characters who had a connection to each other but in reality were disconnected and made the book unique. Ms. Kingsolver's masterful writing and detailed descriptions will take you away and pull you right in.

Science buffs will thoroughly enjoy the butterfly research as well as Ovid, the head scientist. Overall the book was enjoyable, enlightening, and one that will make you think about your family, your life, your contribution to the world as a person, and how to improve yourself as well as the small part of the world that you inhabit. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review. I picked up this book at the Bea in June of 2013.
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LibraryThing member A_Reader_of_Fictions
I love Barbara Kingsolver. All of her books automatically go on my to-read list, because she's brilliant. One of the things I love about her is how unique her books are from one another. She writes different kind of characters in disparate environments and focuses on varying themes. I find it so
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impressive when authors can reinvent themselves so often. Flight Behavior is my fourth Kingsolver book. Unfortunately, unlike the others, this one failed to meet my expectations.

My first Kingsolver read was The Bean Trees, which centers around a girl desperate to get out of her small, hick town where most of the girls are pregnant before they even leave high school. She wants to be one of the ones to leave and never come back. Through some odd circumstances, she finds herself stuck raising a baby that's not hers, sort of falling into motherhood. The plot itself didn't have much appeal for me as a reader, but the book was utterly compelling and I loved it so much. Kingsolver's powerful writing and intriguing, quirky characters pulled me in despite myself.

In Flight Behavior, Kingsolver again focuses on a heroine who had dreams of escaping her hick town, but this one didn't make it. Dellarobia hoped to go to college, but wound up pregnant instead. Even worse, the baby boy died, leaving her stuck in a marriage with a man she doesn't respect and reliant on judgmental in-laws. Her unhappiness manifests itself in a wandering eye; she has had a number of crushes on men, flirted with the idea of an affair. The hook of the novel is when Dellarobia heads up the mountain to meet with one of her men and cheat on her husband. On her way, she sees the forest burning with butterflies, and interprets that as a sign from God that she needs to go back to her life and make good.

Dellarobia's life certainly is unfortunate, and it's such a shame that her promise was wasted on this small town, where kids only take two years of rudimentary math in school. Even the bright ones aren't given enough education to be able to get out of town. I feel for her, but I didn't connect with her or any of the other characters. In all of Kingsolver's previous works, I was held rapt in unfamiliar worlds by the power of the characters and the writing, but these characters simply failed to grab onto my heart and take hold.

Another problem too is that, while the writing is beautiful as always (and shows that you can not write in dialect but still achieve a southern feel), the story feels a bit like a combination of two of the Kingsolver books I'd previously read: The Bean Trees and Prodigal Summer. Revisiting old themes, while not what I know Kingsolver for, can be done well, but, in this case, it felt repetitive and less well done.

Flight Behavior feels like it was written not so much for the characters as to be the vehicle for a message: global warming is real and it's not just about changing temperatures. Now, of course, it's alright for books to have a moral, a message, but I don't like to feel like I'm being beat over the head with it or being talked down to.

The butterflies Dellarobia witnessed normally wintered in Mexico, but moved to her small town because of environmental changes and now the whole population of Monarch butterflies could be in danger of extinction. A lepidopterist comes to study them, and works with and teaches Dellarobia, highlighting her boredom with her husband and her desire for something bigger. Because of her rudimentary education, the reader receives both the scientific explanations for everything and the 'country' version, a cute little metaphor for everything that's happening. This felt a bit insulting to me, as though this setting was chosen to allow for global warming to be explained in a simplified way that the stupid disbelievers could fathom. Prodigal Summer also dealt with the importance of taking care of the environment, but did not make me feel so lectured.

Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, but I'm disappointed to have not enjoyed a book by one of my favorite authors. Her writing is still gorgeous, but the book is massive, slow, and filled with a lot of minutiae about Dellarobia's life I could have done without. Surely others will appreciate this one (most of the reviews on Goodreads are highly flattering and NPR approves), but it fell flat with me.
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LibraryThing member EllenMeeropol
I picked up an ARC of Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, FLIGHT BEHAVIOR, last week at BEA with anticipation and apprehension. Mostly anticipation, because I’m a huge fan of Kingsolver’s fiction and have read several of her novels multiple times. In fact, there’s a quote from ANIMAL DREAMS
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that has been thumb-tacked on the bulletin board over my writing desk since I first read that book in 1990: “The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.”

But I was also apprehensive. Although I love Kingsolver’s prose and greatly admire her courage in writing fiction that tackles important subjects, I sometimes feel “preached at” when I read her more recent novels, starting with PRODIGAL SUMMER. I accept that I’m probably more sensitive than most readers to this authorial intrusion. I am so aware of that risk in my own writing and work so hard to banish the lecturing voice.

The opening paragraphs of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR captivated me. A bored young wife and mother is en route up the mountain to “throw away her life” through adultery when she sees a Tennessee mountain version of a burning bush and reconsiders. Dellarobia is a compelling character; she is smart and self-aware, deeply entrenched in her family and her culture but thoughtful and critical of it. Her response to what she sees on the mountain trigger a cascade of events that bring national attention to her Appalachian community and change her life. Once again, Kingsolver uses her scientific training and considerable descriptive abilities to engage the reader with a critical socio-political issue.

My apprehension, however, was also valid. Kingsolver chooses to lecture the reader, though her characters, in large and small ways throughout the narrative. Most of the time, I could let these literary skewers pass with just a sigh, but occasionally they jarred me from the story. Even so, this novel with its perfect pacing, nuanced characters, and beautifully articulated yearnings is one of the most satisfying books I’ve read in a long time.
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LibraryThing member LissaJ
I loved the premise of this book...taking a very realistic environmental situation and describing how it would change one person's entire life. Barbara Kinsolver's writing is beautiful and the characters are finely drawn and complicated. The only reason that I did not give it a full five stars is
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that at times I wondered if Dellarobia, the main character, could exist in real life. But this is a small thing and an opinion that could change upon second reading. Overall, this is one of my favorite books that I have recently read.
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LibraryThing member Suzannie1
did not "get' this book to start with and found it almost to be in the past until i gave it another go and actaully got into it , it was the situation and the town that this family were living in that made it seem surreal , but then the butterfly situation and the global warming theory all made
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sense and the "hopelessness" of life as humans and insects and nature made sense . In the end i really enjoted it .
loved her best friend Davey's reality check on everything .
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LibraryThing member jepeters333
Dellarobia is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. After years of domestic disharmony, she encounters a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a miracle, but it sparks a raft of other
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explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts a truth that could undo all she has ever believed.
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LibraryThing member creighley
Delarobia's narrow existence is suddenly awakened when, hoping to escape from her boring life, goes into the mountain and sees a "miracle." For some unknown reason, the monarchs have migrated to this part of the U.S. With the migration come the scientists who work to determine the cause of the
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monarch's departure from their conventional migration. Suddenly, Delarobia is discovering things about herself and her life.
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LibraryThing member PamelaBarrett
This is the first book I listened to on my Kindle Fire, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have because I kept confusing the volume with the last page read; on the screen both are yellow bars with arrow tabs. Because of my “learning curve” problem I kept skipping sections and had a
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difficult time finding my way back or even remembering where I left off. I finally figured it out and listened to a smaller story in one sitting, and really enjoyed it. Oh well, it’s a great story, by a favorite author that I may need to read instead of listen to.

The gist of the story is this: a mom is restless in her marriage, and is thinking about hooking up with a man she’d flirted with, but when she goes walking into to hills behind her house to meet up with him she stumbles upon something so beautiful and unusual that it stops her from the tryst. When she shares her discovery, it takes over her family and community and soon word leaks out to the world. There is family drama, nature, climate change, science, biology and the meaning of love thrown into to this mix. I listened to Flight Behavior through Audible.com and I’m rating it 4 stars for the storyline.
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LibraryThing member SignoraEdie
While the story may not have been the most robust, Kingsolver's talent and craft does not disappoint. I savored each sentence.
LibraryThing member nivramkoorb
I have read all of Kingsolver's fiction. I enjoyed the character of Dellarobia because she felt like her earlier characters from Bean Trees and Animal Dreams. Although, the book was preachy and dragged a bit, overall the writing was great and I really felt the poverty of the people. It reminded me
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how those us who have more tend to take that for granted. This book highlighted the millions who have to spend everyday thinking about every thing they do just to get through the day. The author does a good job of pointing out the futility of our materialism and how much it consumes us. She ties this together with the ongoing ecological issue of the butterflies and climate change. I would not recommend this as the first Barbara Kingsolver book to read but this was worthwhile.
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LibraryThing member St.CroixSue
Transfixing. Best piece of fiction I have listened to in a long time. Characters, setting, and the many messages were seamless and Kingsolver's reading of it was regionally perfect. The story of human and natural communities intertwined facing unsettling change.
LibraryThing member SugarCreekRanch
Dellarobia is a young parent disenchanted with her marriage. She is the first to encounter a large population of Monarch butterflies have found their way to her Appalachian mountain area. The townspeople take this beautiful sight for a religious blessing, but the scientists who arrive bring dire
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news of climate change.

The writing is beautiful, the characters are believable, and it is an absorbing multi-layered story.
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LibraryThing member Schatje
Near her hardscrabble sheep farm in Tennessee, Dellarobia Turnbow discovers millions of monarch butterflies who have deviated from their normal migration pattern to Mexico. The discovery brings the world to her doorstep, the tourists, the eco-activists, and the media among them. Also to arrive is
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Ovid Byron, a lepidopterist who hires Dellarobia to help research why the butterflies have arrived in Appalachia.

The answer soon becomes clear: climate change as a result of global warming. The butterflies’ Mexican home has been destroyed by flooding exacerbated by deforestation. Initially, Dellarobia is not a believer in climate change; gradually, however, she changes her mind as evidence is presented to her. Unfortunately others in the community are not so open-minded; her father-in-law, for example, wants to log the mountain which the butterflies have chosen for their winter home. The blindness of climate change deniers is addressed strongly by Ovid: “’What scientists disagree on now . . . is how to express our shock. The glaciers that keep Asia’s watersheds in business are going right away. . . . The Arctic is genuinely collapsing. Scientists used to call these things the canary in the mine. What they say now is, The canary is dead. We are at the top of Niagara Falls . . . in a canoe. . . . We got here by drifting, but we cannot turn around for a lazy paddle back when you finally stop pissing around. We have arrived at the point of an audible roar. Does it strike you as a good time to debate the existence of the falls?’’’ (367)

The serious social message is expertly intertwined with a personal story. Dellarobia is unhappy and frustrated with her life. She feels trapped in her marriage to Cub, a dim-witted, unimaginative, passive man overshadowed by his parents. Though he is decent, good-hearted, and well-meaning, he cannot provide her with an escape from their economically and intellectually impoverished life. Working for Ovid serves as an awakening for Dellarobia. She gains self-confidence as her horizons expand and decides to seek personal fulfillment, searching, like the butterflies, for the place where she belongs. Obviously she metamorphoses from caterpillar to butterfly, although at the end she, again like the butterflies, is faced with an uncertain future.

There are many Biblical allusions in the novel. Dellarobia sees a flaming forest, like Moses saw a burning bush. References to Noah’s flood appear more than once. I foresee students of English literature writing essays analyzing Kingsolver’s use of Biblical allusions to add depth to her novel.

This is literary fiction at its best; it combines an interesting plot and a dynamic protagonist with an urgent message: the world is a “mess made by undisciplined humans” (25) who must stop behaving like “ignorant little dumb-heads” (41) or “the world [will] fall down around them” (25).
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LibraryThing member ParadisePorch
I approached Flight Behavior with mixed emotion. On one hand, I’ve loved every Kingsolver book I’ve ever read and rate her The Poisonwood Bible as one of the best books in my reading lifetime. On the other hand, I roll my eyes (quite literally) at heroines with names like Juniper or Venetia or,
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in this case, Dellarobia, AND the book was purported to be full of butterflies. Dreams of fluff danced in my head.

But Kingsolver tackles a very serious issue in Flight Behavior: climate change, and the real-life destruction of the wintering nesting grounds of North America’s Monarch butterfly population in 2010. That she peoples this drama with the melodramatically named Dellarobia who makes a series of decisions that alienated her from this reader does not lesson the importance of that main issue, or for that matter, the beauty of her writing.

For concrete (albeit fictionally set) consequences of a complex issue, you could do far worse than this book.

Read this if: you don’t think climate is really changing our world; you recognize that climate change is real and would like great party talking-points on the subject; or you’re a Kingsolver fan. 4 stars
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LibraryThing member jmchshannon
The official synopsis of Barbara Kingsolver’s latest novel, Flight Behavior makes the story seem much more exciting than it really is. This is not a novel about finding unknown truths so much as it is confronting the truth that has been largely ignored, either through ignorance or through denial.
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It is a slow, meandering story of discovery – both scientific and personal – that is as informative as it is interesting.

Flight Behavior is a novel I wanted to love more than I did. The predictability factor was too high for enjoyment. Even worse, the novel felt like one giant harangue against those who do not believe in the environmental impact of global warming or in global warming in general. Had the story had some element of fact in it, one might find it more interesting, but the author’s note leaves no doubt that the aberrant migrant paths of the monarch butterflies described in the novel are purely fictional. One cannot help feeling slightly duped not only because the descriptions of the perils of the butterflies is so realistically described but also because there is so much more actual devastation happening to natural habitats that are not fiction and upon which Ms. Kingsolver could have drawn to lend a greater air of legitimacy to her arguments. Instead, it feels like she only confirms the complaints against those who remain unconvinced about global warming due to conflicting media and scientific reports.

As for Dellarobia’s personal growth, it too felt more like a warning to readers than the life-altering inspiration Ms. Kingsolver obviously intends. Dellarobia is very self-aware, which is great. Yet, her self-awareness is too bitter and despondent and makes the reader uncomfortable. It is difficult to understand and to explain why Dellarobia is so unhappy or feels the need to leave her husband, as her reasons for doing so are rather unconvincing. She is unhappy being tied to the house without a job but is able to obtain a paying job that allows her financial and personal freedom. She feels stifled intellectually, and yet her job provides her with the necessary intellectual stimuli that she so desperately wants and needs. She says she is suffocating in her marriage but does she ever try to share her concerns with her husband of so many years? It is this almost selfish behavior that causes Dellarobia to be largely unsympathetic.

Unfortunately, those readers looking to repeat the magic that is The Poisonwood Bible are going to be disappointed with Flight Behavior. All of the characters are flat caricatures that are too familiar to be fresh or exciting. Dellarobia is too selfish to be enjoyable, and the ecological portions of the story are tainted by the fact that they are fictionalized. While the story is going to be popular purely because of Ms. Kingsolver’s previous successes, it leaves at least this reader feeling dissatisfied at the opportunities for greatness that were lost.

Acknowledgments: Thank you to Danielle Plafsky from HarperCollins for my review copy!
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LibraryThing member shazjhb
This is an incredible book. I was thinking of all the books she has written and each book is different, special and meaningful without being preachy. I want to go follow the butterflies. I want to walk and not drive.
LibraryThing member Laura400
This is a traditional novel that does not give one lush language or a feeling of sensory immersion. Rather it is a serious Story with important Themes. So it's not the type of novel I typically read. But I thought it was well thought-out and enjoyable.

Its strengths are a breezy, wise-cracking
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narrative style and an earnest and nuanced take on big issues. It does go on too long, and it has too many cardboard characters. But its worst trait, as a novel, is a certain obviousness: it lays on the environmental and social messages with too heavy of a hand. And I say that despite agreeing with her point of view.

Still, it's a thought-provoking book that would be great for book groups.
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LibraryThing member JenGennari
Another beautiful Barbara Kingsolver book. I also thought she managed to talk about climate change without too much preachiness. I loved Dellarobia--and her flight from marriage etc.




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