34 reviews

Flight Behavior: A Novel (P.S.)
by Barbara Kingsolver

Published: 2013-06-04
Paperback : 464 pages
61 members reading this now
117 clubs reading this now
35 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 31 of 34 members

"Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."

The extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver returns with a truly stunning and ...

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"Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."

The extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver returns with a truly stunning and unforgettable work. Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012: In what may be the first novel to realistically imagine the near-term impact of “global weirding,” Barbara Kingsolver sets her latest story in rural Appalachia . In fictional Feathertown, Tennessee, Dellarobia Turnbow--on the run from her stifling life--charges up the mountain above her husband’s family farm and stumbles onto a “valley of fire” filled with millions of monarch butterflies. This vision is deemed miraculous by the town’s parishioners, then the international media. But when Ovid, a scientist who studies monarch behavior, sets up a lab on the Turnbow farm, he learns that the butterflies’ presence signals systemic disorder--and Dellarobia's in-laws’ logging plans won’t help. Readers who bristle at politics made personal may be turned off by the strength of Kingsolver’s convictions, but she never reduces her characters to mouthpieces, giving equal weight to climate science and human need, to forces both biological and biblical. Her concept of family encompasses all living beings, however ephemeral, and Flight Behavior gracefully, urgently contributes to the dialogue of survival on this swiftly tilting planet. --Mari Malcolm


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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

excellent discussion questions from the publisher.
by seashell723 (see profile) 07/17/14

What is the significance of the title? To what or whom does it refer?
What is the significance of the characters' names?
by mbell7 (see profile) 12/19/13

What are you personally doing to protect the environment?
How worried are you for the future of our planet?
Are you going to change anything you do now for the betterment of the earth/
by thnxandyc (see profile) 08/06/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Immersed in the setting
by Mad Hatters (see profile) 01/27/17
We had lunch in a member's butterfly garden. We even got to release some newborns into the garden.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by elm7597 (see profile) 05/10/17

  "Flight Behavior"by Mad Hatters (see profile) 01/27/17

A book that will have you taking an adventure into the flight of the monarch butterflies. Into the adventure you will meet an extraordinary woman and how she has to deal with a family that does not appreciate... (read more)

  "Flight Behavior"by markokopp1 (see profile) 08/15/16

Tough book to get into. 1st chapter goes on and on about the main character's decision to have an affair. Then the author spends a lot of time with the main character criticizing other women, mainly... (read more)

by linzolinzo (see profile) 05/04/16

by DMS51 (see profile) 01/21/16

  "Barbara Kingsolver"by JanaAW (see profile) 01/21/16

I enjoyed this author's writing . She wrote about topics that are of interest to me; monarch butterflies and global warming. I found the book dragged, causing me to read a chapter and put it down. It... (read more)

  "Flight behavior"by lindaroth (see profile) 07/02/15

A fiction book about a science topic

by CathUnit (see profile) 04/08/15

by gemagee (see profile) 03/30/15

  "Flight Behavior"by barbarajstern (see profile) 03/19/15

Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors because she brings her biology background into the book. I really enjoyed reading about the monarch butterflies. The author also uses strong female characters... (read more)

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