Friday, January 2, 2015

Flight Behavior

Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Pages: 433

Rating: PG - some mild language
Summary: 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.

My Thoughts: I honestly was not thrilled with this book. I really love Barbara Kingsolver, but I felt like this book wasn't as life changed as it's made out to be. Possibly because I can't relate to the main character. Also, I do have to say that if you're after a book with incredible descriptive language, look no further. Kingsolver can definitely paint amazing pictures with her words. But I felt like too much of the book was focused on these word paintings, and not enough on an actual story.

Kingsolver likes to give her novels a political agenda, and this one is climate change. Dellarobia and her family find that the mountain range behind their house has unexpectedly become home to millions of migrating butterflies. The only problem is, these butterflies are not supposed to be there. A scientist named Ovid Byron comes to stay and study the butterflies and what they might be doing there, and Dellarobia becomes his pupil and assistant in the effort. Dr. Byron's opinion is that climate change is rapidly ruining the earth and killing off animals who are now confused about how their migration patterns should go. It's definitely interesting, to say the least. The point is made that climate change is often denied because it's so big and seemingly unstoppable that we'd rather just not think about it.

You may find this book to be interesting, but I was a little disappointed. However, if you think you might relate to Dellarobia, or if you are interested in learning a LOT about the monarch butterfly, you can give it a try.