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Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara…

Flight Behavior: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Barbara Kingsolver

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2,4131682,574 (3.91)325
Title:Flight Behavior: A Novel
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, audiobook, Appalachia, family, relationship, climate change

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Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

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Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
Overall, I really liked this book. It's the story of a young woman who is not quite happy with her life, but is somewhere between resigned to and content with it. But that life is upended by the discovery of natural occurrence in the woods on her family's farm, bringing attention of the world and her entry into the world of science.

Kingsolver wrestles with issues of family, social justice, class, environment, climate change, friendship, faith, and the deep political and social divide that our country wrestles with - which was especially meaningful to me as I read this during the final months of the 2016 presidential election. At times the book felt educational, but in a way I appreciated - because story-telling and approaching from multiple viewpoints seems to be a good way to address some of the issues she raises. I especially appreciated her look at environmental issues from different class perspectives.

Some of the jumps in the storyline from one chapter to the next were a bit abrupt for me - I wanted a little more explanation in between - but I did love see Dellarobia grow and change and decide on the course her life would take. ( )
  chavala | Dec 28, 2016 |
I'm in a quandary about my opinion of this book. I'm not a big fan of Kingsolver, but I decided to give this one a chance and for the first 3/4 of the book I really loved it and then it got kind of plodding, preachy and political and by the end I was just glad it had ended. ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
So, here's the deal... I came across Kingsolver in high school by way of the usual mandatory reading list. My first encounter being The Bean Trees. What attracted me then has the same cast and lure now; primarily her intelligence and divine character development. Whenever I come up for air out of one of her works I have the sense that her characters are all mixed up and formulated in some literary lab she has rumbling around in the back of her brain at all times, fleshed out genuinely by her experiences and perception of the human condition.

This is what kept me in this book. I didn't have a lot of fondness for the characters (besides the kids) but they definitely grew into realities on the pages and made it worth the read. ( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
Beautiful Writing

This is the first book I've read by Barbara Kingsolver and I was most impressed by her writing style. The book did drag in parts with some of its ecological explanations but for the most part I found it to be a quick read. I've been fascinated with the Monarch butterflies ever since I saw the iMax movie about them. Dellarobia was a very interesting character throughout the book. Ovid was also interesting though he seemed to just disappear toward the end of the book. The final few pages were quite strange and to me not even necessary.
  borealis07 | Jul 11, 2016 |
I like Barbara Kingsolver and absolutely loved Poisonwood Bible. This book was okay, wasn't one of my favorites. It's a look into a backwoods family dealing with everyday issues and also about the monarchs who have landed for some reason in their mountains to hibernate until they move onto the next location due to their normal location being destroyed in Mexico. I struggled through some of the book trying to keep with the story. Because of it being Ms. Kingsolver I stuck with it but if it was an author I hadn't read before I don't know if I would have stuck with it. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (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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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.
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.
I never learn anything from listening to myself . . . .
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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.

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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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