Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver (4 stars)

About Flight Behavior 

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man.

She hikes up a mountain road behind her house toward a secret tryst, but instead 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. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome.

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.


Sometimes it takes more courage to walk away than to run.

Dellarobia Turnbow married because of circumstances, and she stayed for the same reasons. She's unhappy and broken. When she finally gives up and decides to leave, she runs into a beautiful mass of monarch butterflies on her family's land. Overwhelmed, she returns home and begins to face her life.

These beautiful creatures draw scientists and journalists to Dellarobia's small town. All the new visitors bring with them a lesson for her. As she grows in knowledge and strength, she realizes the power and responsibility of choice. But, the butterflies have a lesson for us all. 

Barbara Kingsolver takes on a very important topic, the future of our environment, and injects it with a character readers can really care about. Dellarobia is a woman who let one decision take over, a woman who needed to find the courage to change things. Her journey is beautifully told and includes the stories of others who allowed choice to be in others' hands.

Although I loved the characters and their interactions and the story is exquisitely written, poetic even, I found parts of the message a bit too preachy. As soon as the story wound back around to the Dellarobia, however, I was pulled right back in.

I highly recommend to readers who want to know a character so well by the end of a book that they would take her into their own home as family. 

Rating: 4 stars
Barbara Kingsolver
About Barbara Kingsolver 

Barbara Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership at home and abroad. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts. She received the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work, and in 2010 won Britain’s Orange Prize for The Lacuna. Her novel The Poisonwood Bible was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.

Learn more about Barbara Kingsolver at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Please visit other stops on Flight Behavior blog tour page.


Suko said...

Tia, I'm glad you also enjoyed this book. Barbara Kingsolver's writing is exceptional.

Tia Bach said...

Suko -- Thanks for stopping by. I agree... her writing is exceptional. This was my first Kingsolver book, but it will definitely not be my last.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you get so close to a character that she really comes to life for you ... what an amazing experience as a reader.

Thanks for being on the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Heather.