16 reviews

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

Published: 2013-06-04
Paperback : 464 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 15 of 16 members
"Kingsolver is a gifted magician of words."—TimeThe 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 un...
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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 â??global weirding,â?? 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 husbandâ??s family farm and stumbles onto a â??valley of fireâ?? filled with millions of monarch butterflies. This vision is deemed miraculous by the townâ??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 butterfliesâ?? presence signals systemic disorder--and Dellarobia's in-lawsâ?? logging plans wonâ??t help. Readers who bristle at politics made personal may be turned off by the strength of Kingsolverâ??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

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

You will become fascinated with butterflies
by thnxandyc (see profile) 08/06/13
Will want to plant some milkweed and you will become more concerned for the environment than you were before.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Flight Behavior"by AnnieLovesFrance (see profile) 02/24/14

The novel brings together a looming environmental crisis, global warming, and its effect on monarch butterflies, and a family network also at risk. The parallels were there and I enjoyed the human relationships... (read more)

  "Great story but a slow start"by barbararobins (see profile) 01/16/14

The characters develop slowly and the storyline takes a bit of time, but overall the book is a success if you continue reading.

  "Meaty for discussion"by mbell7 (see profile) 12/19/13

Barbara Kingsolver's latest book is a little on the preachy side when it comes to climate change and environmental concerns, but overall our club enjoyed the book and had plenty to talk about without getting... (read more)

  "Flight Behavior"by GreenArr0w (see profile) 10/22/13

Kingsolver successfuly deals with such issues as the plight of the monarchs and global warming while involving us totally with a very bright, frustrated young Appalachian woman. We're completely in her... (read more)

  "Enlightening"by Silver's Reviews (see profile) 09/03/13

Butterflies that changed someone's mind about an affair? Butterflies that have the entire country flocking to Knoxville, Tennessee? Yes...butterflies may be what Dellarobia needed to change her boring... (read more)

  "Flight behavior"by Annagr (see profile) 09/03/13

Migrating butterflies woven into the life of Dellarobia is one of Kingsolver's best books. I learned about the monarch butterflies migrating patterns and the efforts to understand how climate change affects... (read more)

  "FLIGHT BEHAVIOR"by CaroleMcwilson (see profile) 08/28/13

Most of us are Kingsolver fans and, while this book was informative in a number of areas, it was not her best. Glad I read it, but it wasn't a "page turner'.

  "Flight Behavior"by kimari (see profile) 08/14/13

  "Flight Behavior"by thnxandyc (see profile) 08/06/13

A serious subject told humorously in the voice of the main character. Wonderful Appalachian setting . Heavy on science since Kingsolver is a biologist and environmentalist but basically quite entertaining.... (read more)

  "Flight Behavior"by Bedelljp (see profile) 05/22/13

Resulted in a very good discussion about Appalchia, the science of the monarchs and the plight of people stuck in their circumstances. This not a book that I would have chosen, but am glad I read it as... (read more)

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