Yes...butterflies may be what Dellarobia needed to change her boring farm life into something more exciting and something more inclined to her intelligence.
Migrating 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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diane Trafton, June 20, 2013 (view all comments by diane Trafton)
Being a fan of Kingsolver's, in particular Prodigal Summer, I had mixed feelings about this book. At first I did not understand where it was going. It wasn't until almost halfway through that I realized this book was making a statement regarding global warming and the ramifications of such. Like Prodigal Summer, a beautiful book on saving our environment, this book creates it's own "case" for global warming. I wish that Kingsolver would have made her journey more clear earlier in the book and I would have been more engaged. A lot of detail is given on butterflies, their behaviors, flight patterns, and requirements for health of the species, material that became so detailed I found myself skimming over these parts. The ending, I thought, was rather abrupt, almost like it was tied on just to complete the story
adamoe, April 22, 2013 (view all comments by adamoe)
Similar to my favorite of her books, Prodigal Summer, in it's powerful intermingling of ecology and human interaction, each serving as a multifaceted metaphor for the other. Enjoy!
Phyllis Frus, January 27, 2013 (view all comments by Phyllis Frus)
Kingsolver has couched her most timely message--climate change is real and and we must take notice, even if it involves changing a hardened world view--in her usual beautiful prose. The descriptions of the monarch butterflies are breathtaking, her characters are believable, and her rendering of the work of scientists, naturalists, and activists is always sympathetic and contributes to the novel's persuasive powers. Don't just read this book; buy it for friends, put extra copies in the libraries, spread the word!
Marjorie Fuller, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Marjorie Fuller)
Barbara Kingsolver creates such wonderfully developed and fascinating characters in this socially conscious novel about a small town in the Tennessee Appalachians. Dellarobia Turnbow's life as mother and wife is not what she planned for herself. When the monarch butterflies arrive on her property, she grabs onto the miracle and follows where it leads.
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by Booklist, Starred Review,
“Drawing on both her Appalachian roots and her background in biology, Kingsolver delivers a passionate novel on the effects of global warming.”
by Publishers Weekly, Starred Review,
“With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message…a clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore.”
by O, the Oprah Magazine,
“Dellarobia is appealingly complex as a smart, curious, warmhearted woman desperate to — no resisting the metaphor here — trade her cocoon for wings.”
“A dazzling page-turner”
by Ron Charles, Washington Post,
“Kingsolver has written one of the more thoughtful novels about the scientific, financial and psychological intricacies of climate change. And her ability to put these silent, breathtakingly beautiful butterflies at the center of this calamitous and noisy debate is nothing short of brilliant.”
by New York Times Book Review,
“One of the gifts of a Kingsolver novel is the resplendence of her prose. She takes palpable pleasure in the craft of writing, creating images that stay with the reader long after her story is done…(a) majestic and brave new novel.”
by Seattle Times,
“Kingsolver has constructed a deeply affecting microcosm of a phenomenon that is manifesting in many different tragic ways, in communities and ecosystems all around the globe. This is a fine and complex novel.”
by Minneapolis Star Tribune,
“So captivating is this grand, suspenseful plot and the many subplots rising and falling beneath it that it takes some time before we realize what this story is really about — climate change.”
"Spirituality, a troubled marriage, global warming...Kingsolver's latest is a bold mélange, but it works."
“Kingsolver is a storyteller first and foremost, as sensitive to human interactions and family dynamics as she is to ecological ones.”
“[A] delicate symbiosis between the sacred and the scientific in this richly rewarding novel that will both entertain and incite its readers.”
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
“Flight Behavior is a book worth reading twice — first for the intricacies of character, second for the dense, beautiful language Kingsolver puts on the page. She's a keen observer of the messiness and unexpected beauty of the quotidian.”
by San Francisco Chronicle,
“By the end of Flight Behavior, it's clear that Kingsolver's passionate voice and her ability to portray the fragility of the natural world, and why we should care about it, are as strong as ever.”
by Julia Ingalls, Salon,
“Novelists like Kingsolver have a particular knack for making us empathize with lives that may bear little resemblance to our own…What lifts Flight Behavior…is not just Kingsolver's nuanced and funny prose; it's Dellarobia's awakening to the possibilities around her.”
by USA Today,
“Flight Behavior is a terrifically entertaining read about a spirited young woman you'll miss the minute you reach the last page.”
by New York Times,
“Marvelous….This is fiction rich in empathy, wit and science. Like the butterflies that astonish Feathertown, Kingsolvian gifts are ‘fierce and wondrous,‘ colors moving around like fire.”
by The New Yorker,
“[Kingsolver's] keen grasp of delicate ecosystems — both social and natural — keeps the story convincing and compelling.”
by Harper Collins,
New York Times Notable Book
Best Book Of The Year
Amazon's Top 100: Editor's Choice
Usa Today Best Book Of The Year
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.
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