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Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara…
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Flight Behavior: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Barbara Kingsolver

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1,9211423,563 (3.9)251
Member:St.CroixSue
Title:Flight Behavior: A Novel
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, audiobook, Appalachia, family, relationship, climate change

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Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

  1. 00
    The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (rockyblanco)
    rockyblanco: Same author but a very different subject.
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Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver; (2 1/2*)

The summary for Flight Behavior and the first part of the story made me look forward to an unusual and interesting read. I was disappointed when the unusual turned out to be the mundane life of Dellarobia Turnbow and her impoverished family. However the book did hold my interest only because of the information regarding the life cycle and migratory habits of the Monarch butterfly. Other than that the book became boring very quickly.
I have read more than one book on this subject matter that was much better written and far more interesting. ( )
1 vote rainpebble | Jan 22, 2015 |
Kingsolver has a lot of interesting things to say about climate change, the denial of it, the failure of science communication, and how cultural connection can be more convincing than facts. So it's too bad she chose to say these things in another dull, preachy, flawed novel. Kingsolver has a knack for creating incredibly interesting, deep characters, and then doing nothing with them while she goes off on transparent tangents to plumb her own personal ideology.

It's been years since I've read any of Kingsolver's fiction, and this was an excellent reminder of why that is. I really wish she would stick to nonfiction writing, which is a much better use of her talents and clearly where her heart lies. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
There is no doubt Kingsolver is a master of metaphor! As an author myself I am particularly aware of this, especially as it is my weakness. At one point I spotted three metaphors in two pages. Flight Behavior is beautifully written, but the detail is sometimes difficult to wade through. In choosing to focus on climate change it seems at times Kingsolver's tale of the poor butterflies completely overwhelms the participation of the humans involved. However, the development of Dellarobia's character, her coming of age as it were, is plausible under the circumstances; as we watch her attraction to Ovid, the scientist, take shape we have to sympathize with her desire to improve herself, to change her life, to become better than her sheltered background has led her to be. I felt the ending disappointing however. Poor Cub, Dellarobia's countrified husband, left high and dry, seemingly left to his own devices with little or no say in the matter. Everything came to what seemed an unexpected, unsatisfactory ending. Perhaps it stuck too close to what would have happened in real life! ( )
  suztales | Jan 7, 2015 |
If you read and liked "The Poisonwood Bible," this is the nearest in quality to that level of literature I have found in the other Kingsolver books. This novel delivers complicated themes well, including: marriage, partnership, scientific endeavors, climate change, loneliness, inadequacy, and parenthood. The characters develop nicely, and the narrative prose reads like a pleasant flow of one's own consciousness. The novel does lose momentum midway through, but recovers nicely for the climax action and denouement. There are enjoyable symbolic touches, such as chapter titles that reflect both the main character's frame of mind and the status of the natural phenomenon she feels compelled to monitor. A good novel for the literary analyst as well as the casual reader. ( )
  Meghanista | Jan 5, 2015 |
I really hated the end , especially after soldiering through certain parts . ( )
  szbrooks1 | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
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.
 
...... 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 important art. Flight Behaviour rises – with conscience and majesty – to the occasion of its time.
added by marq | editThe Guardian, Liz Jensen (Nov 2, 2012)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Kingsolverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kingsolver, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Virginia Henry Kingsolver and Wendell Roy Kingsolver
First words
A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away, and it is one part rapture.
Quotations
Realistically, it probably wasn't slave children, but there had to be armies of factory workers making this slapdash stuff, underpaid people cranking out things for underpaid people to buy and use up, living their lives mostly to cancel each other out. A worldwide entrapment of bottom feeders.
If people played their channels right, they could be spared from disagreement for the length of their natural lives. Finally she got it. The need for so many channels.
There are always more questions. Science as a process is never complete. It is not a foot race, with a finish line. He warned her about this as a standard point of contention. People will always be waiting at a particular finish line: journalists with their cameras, impatient crowds eager to call the race, astounded to see the scientists approach, pass the mark, and keep running. It's a common misunderstanding, he said. They conclude there was no race. As long as we won't commit to knowing everything, the presumption is we know nothing.
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Book description
Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman's narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel's inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.
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 has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, 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. 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.
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.
Haiku summary
Climate change is bad / But what to do? Kingsolver / has all the answers.
(rosalita)

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Set in the present day in the rural community of Feathertown, Tennessee, Flight Behavior 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 silent red fire that appears to her a miracle. 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.… (more)

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