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Flight Behavior

Free read Flight Behavior

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 worldFlight 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. I love Barbara Kingsolver All of her books automatically go on my to read list because she's brilliant One of the things I love about her is how uniue her books are from one another She writes different kind of characters in disparate environments and focuses on varying themes I find it so impressive when authors can reinvent themselves so often Flight Behavior is my fourth Kingsolver book Unfortunately unlike the others this one failed to meet my expectationsMy first Kingsolver read was The Bean Trees which centers around a girl desperate to get out of her small hick town where most of the girls are pregnant before they even leave high school She wants to be one of the ones to leave and never come back Through some odd circumstances she finds herself stuck raising a baby that's not hers sort of falling into motherhood The plot itself didn't have much appeal for me as a reader but the book was utterly compelling and I loved it so much Kingsolver's powerful writing and intriguing uirky characters pulled me in despite myselfIn Flight Behavior Kingsolver again focuses on a heroine who had dreams of escaping her hick town but this one didn't make it Dellarobia hoped to go to college but wound up pregnant instead Even worse the baby boy died leaving her stuck in a marriage with a man she doesn't respect and reliant on judgmental in laws Her unhappiness manifests itself in a wandering eye; she has had a number of crushes on men flirted with the idea of an affair The hook of the novel is when Dellarobia heads up the mountain to meet with one of her men and cheat on her husband On her way she sees the forest burning with butterflies and interprets that as a sign from God that she needs to go back to her life and make goodDellarobia's life certainly is unfortunate and it's such a shame that her promise was wasted on this small town where kids only take two years of rudimentary math in school Even the bright ones aren't given enough education to be able to get out of town I feel for her but I didn't connect with her or any of the other characters In all of Kingsolver's previous works I was held rapt in unfamiliar worlds by the power of the characters and the writing but these characters simply failed to grab onto my heart and take holdAnother problem too is that while the writing is beautiful as always and shows that you can not write in dialect but still achieve a southern feel the story feels a bit like a combination of two of the Kingsolver books I'd previously read The Bean Trees and Prodigal Summer Revisiting old themes while not what I know Kingsolver for can be done well but in this case it felt repetitive and less well doneFlight Behavior feels like it was written not so much for the characters as to be the vehicle for a message global warming is real and it's not just about changing temperatures Now of course it's alright for books to have a moral a message but I don't like to feel like I'm being beat over the head with it or being talked down toThe butterflies Dellarobia witnessed normally wintered in Mexico but moved to her small town because of environmental changes and now the whole population of Monarch butterflies could be in danger of extinction A lepidopterist comes to study them and works with and teaches Dellarobia highlighting her boredom with her husband and her desire for something bigger Because of her rudimentary education the reader receives both the scientific explanations for everything and the 'country' version a cute little metaphor for everything that's happening This felt a bit insulting to me as though this setting was chosen to allow for global warming to be explained in a simplified way that the stupid disbelievers could fathom Prodigal Summer also dealt with the importance of taking care of the environment but did not make me feel so lecturedPerhaps I'm being a bit harsh but I'm disappointed to have not enjoyed a book by one of my favorite authors Her writing is still gorgeous but the book is massive slow and filled with a lot of minutiae about Dellarobia's life I could have done without Surely others will appreciate this one most of the reviews on Goodreads are highly flattering and NPR approves but it fell flat with me

Read & download ð PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Û Barbara Kingsolver

Uickly 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 valle. Barbara Kingsolver is one of those rare writers with whom you know what you are getting before you open the first pageYou know for example that the prose is going to be literary dense and luscious take this descriptive line Summer’s heat had never really arrived nor the cold in turn and everything living now seemed to yearn for sun with the anguish of the unloved” You know that the content will focus on some kind of social justice biodiversity or environmental issue You know too that at some point Ms Kingsolver will cross the line into authorial intrusion based on her passion for the subject she is writing onBut you keep coming back for At least I do There is something mesmerizing about a Barbara Kingsolver novel and something refreshing about a writer who combines a solid scientific background with stunning proseThis book is entitled Flight Behavior and for good reason It opens with a young Appalachian woman – Dellarobia Turnbow – ready to take flight from her shotgun marriage and closed in life with two young children On her way up the mountain to engage in an affair she views an astounding natural phenomenon that changes everything for herThe core of the novel focuses on that phenomenoncentering on the migratory patterns of the bright orange Monarch butterfly usually viewed only in Mexico The topic is climate change and Ms Kingsolver slashes through the obtuse definitions with language anyone can understand Dellarobia is paired thematically with a Harvard educated scientist Ovid Byron whose lifework is studying the butterflies He says “If you woke up one morning Dellarobia and one of your eyes had moved to the side of your head how would you feel about that” That in effect is the same as the butterflies migrating to AppalachiaThere is much to love about this novel Dellarobia is authentically portrayed a woman who is confined in a life she has outgrown complete with two very genuinely created toddlers and a best friend who is not similarly constrained The duality of science and religion is also tackled While Barbara Kingsolver makes no secret of how she feels about those who piously say “Weather is the Lord’s business” while polluting our environment she also concedes to the majesty and mystery of nature culling in parallels from Job and NoahUltimately Ms Kingsolver leaves us with the most important uestion of all “what was the use of saving a world that had no soul left in it Continents without butterflies seas without coral reefWhat if all human effort amounted basically to saving a place for ourselves to park” The interconnectedness of all nature’s creatures – and our true place in our own lives and in the lives of the universe – is a message that lives on in this reader’s mind long after the last page is closed

Barbara Kingsolver Û 2 Read & download

Y 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 acuaintance 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 believe. The author has a real point to make here global warming is bad logging is bad they're killing the monarch butterfly population and Attention Must Be Paid That message is interwoven with the story of Dellarobia Turnbow a poor farmer's wife who used to have dreams of college and something betterDellarobia married Cub at 17 pregnant with his child She miscarried and rather than leave Cub and continue with her plans for college she stays eventually having Preston and Cordelia One day thinking she was so fed up that she was ready to have an affair with a much younger man she walks up the hill from their farm and it's a miracle The valley at the top of the hill is alive with flame This sight turns her around convinced that she should keep on the path she's already onWe learn that this field of flame is really an aberration millions of monarch butterflies who usually winter in Mexico have descended on this valley in Tennessee Soon it's national news and then Dr Ovid Byron moves in to an RV parked near their barn Ovid and his graduate students post docs and volunteers study monarchs occasionally pontificating on the horrors of global warming and the loss of the monarch It's at those moments that the book lost me Dellarobia's journey was interesting the monarchs a little less so When characters start to serve as mouthpieces or deliver great scads of polemic I tend to tune out That's not to say that there isn't something to worry about that I'm a denier of climate change just that it felt as though Ovid could have been edited down a little The scene with him and the tv reporter Totally unnecessaryThe ending also felt off when did Dellarobia and Cub come to the decisions they did What about her new insights into Hester and Bear It was rushed and had less Big Message been packed in perhaps we could have had a better endingARC provided by publisher Coreys Pony Is Missing (Pony Tails, national Dear George And Other Stories news and then Dr Ovid Byron moves in to an RV parked Social Creature near their barn Ovid and his graduate students post docs and volunteers study monarchs occasionally pontificating on the horrors of global warming and the loss of the monarch It's at those moments that the book lost me Dellarobia's journey was interesting the monarchs a little less so When characters start to serve as mouthpieces or deliver great scads of polemic I tend to tune out That's Misplaced Loyalty (Meredith & Hodge, not to say that there isn't something to worry about that I'm a denier of climate change just that it felt as though Ovid could have been edited down a little The scene with him and the tv reporter Totally unnecessaryThe ending also felt off when did Dellarobia and Cub come to the decisions they did What about her A Pocketful of Crows new insights into Hester and Bear It was rushed and had less Big Message been packed in perhaps we could have had a better endingARC provided by publisher


10 thoughts on “Flight Behavior

  1. says:

    In 2004 Barbara Kingsolver moved from Tucson where she had lived since 1978 to southern Appalachia This marked a return to her roots migrating back to an ancestral place like the butterflies in her latest novel Flight Behavior might once have done She must feel right at home there as she has written a wonderful book set in the fictional Appalachian town of Feathertown Tennessee The flight of the title refers not only to the arrival of hordes of butterflies but flights of various sorts undertaken by her characters Barbara Kingsolver image from EnvirolitLike Moses Dellarobia Turnbow climbs a mountain and sees a vision Instead of a flaming bush she sees a flaming forest alive with millions of Monarch butterflies As with Moses what she saw changed her life Of course her motivation was a bit different Big Mo was seeking guidance from God on how to lead his people Dellarobia was leaving her husband and two kids to take up with her latest romantic entanglement looking to fly rather than to lead But visions have a way of changing people or maybe enhancing themUnearthly beauty had appeared to her a vision of glory to stop her in the road For her alone these orange boughs lifted these long shadows became a brightness rising It looked like the inside of joy if a person could see that A valley of lights an ethereal wind It had to mean something She could save herselfNot really understanding what it was she had seen Dell takes the event as a sign and changes her course Change can be good The novel opens with A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away and it is one part raptureWhat is worth keeping and what should be tossed? In one’s life and in the wider world?We see this world through Dellarobia’s eyes She makes a careful examination of her life in an environment in which unexamined is the way to go She is a bright woman of 27 married as a result of an adolescent mistake to a decent if unimaginative man with two kids staying in a small house on her in laws’ property stuck in her world with not much to look forward to An unseasonable season of rain forty days worth maybe? has left the area soaked even impoverished and vulnerable than usual The tree was intact not cut or broken by the wind What a waste After maybe centuries of survival it had simply let go of the ground the wide fist of its root mass ripped up and resting naked above a clay gash in the wooded mountainside Like herself it just seemed to have come loose from its station in life After so much rain upon rain this was happening all over the countyBut this new winged arrival has caused some excitement One may wonder what millions of Monarch butterflies are doing gathering en masse in rural Tennessee When word of the wondrous visitation gets out interests of all sorts try to interpret its significance and some try bending the event to their own purposes Some see simple beauty Those with a churchy bent see the hand of God Those of a scientific inclination seek to find out why the butterflies chose this place for their nest without regard to a higher power seeing an alarming disruption in nature These critters are supposed to gather in Michoacan in Mexico right? What are they doing here? Some property owners look to make a little cash by leading visitors Some are eager to see the butterflies gone so they can cut and sell the lumber on that land Eco warriors seek to use the event as a tool for spreading their message Kingsolver shows a wide range of perspectives on the event She brings in the strong presence of a heavy hitter scientist with an ironic artsy name Ovid Byron He not only sets up shop to study the phenomenon complete with a camper and crew but sees Dellarobia’s intelligence and curiosity and encourages her even hiring her to help with his project Kingsolver got her masters and began her working life in biology after all not creative writing It is clear that with her expertise as a biologist it is her scientist words Ovid speaks when explaining how the biology here works And it is activist Kingsolver’s words he speaks when he takes on the mediaCan it be a coincidence that when red haired University of Tennessee orange Dell and African American Ovid Byron come together they match the Monarch coloration? The major underlying natural issue addressed here is global warming how changes to the global environment can result in significant changes in peoples’ lives The book opens with talk of the unnatural relentless rain that has been watering remote Feathertown What causes this? What happens when it rains so much? The same thing in Appalachia as has happened in places far away Nothing good It was surprising to learn that excessive rain can damage even the wool on living sheep What happens when you are not where you should be? If you are a person it might mean unhappiness a feeling of frustration and failure If you are say a species of butterfly it might mean an absolute existential crisis and an attempt to survive by setting up shop in a new not yet completely destroyed locationOffering a local perspective is one of the primary elements of the novel Barbara Kingsolver writes about places she knows For the African setting of Poisonwood Bible she drew on the time she had lived there with her family But she was raised in Kentucky And it is clear that she has a pretty good sense of the locals Part of Kingsolver’s purpose here we believe is to offer up an image of what life is like for real people in Appalachia In recent years ecologically sustainable development in environmentally endangered areas has shifted methodology These days attempts are made to engage local residents and give them a reason for becoming involved with and gaining from protection efforts Simply trotting out experts and telling the locals to change their evil ways is not exactly effective That dynamic is given a nice if somewhat staged look A straw man of a northeastern liberal bent descends on the town and starts handing out leaflets urging people to take the pledge In this case that means promising to change a whole list of behaviors Turns out that this list is mostly irrelevant to the locals Things like “eat less meat” when the problem for so many here is to get enough His list urges a promise to re cycle to people who shop for clothing at the second hand shop and so on It is a brilliant way of making it clear that it is worth actually knowing something about local life before preachingIt is a difficult life folks lead in Feathertown a place in which the science teacher offers his students the option of shooting hoops instead of learning science a place where a Christmas shopping trip is to the second hand store What of the farmer unable to pay his mortgage unless he sells off wooded land to clear cutters? What of the income lost because wool has been damaged by so much rain? Kingsolver points out the limitations on the lives of the locals and how even those with abilities and dreams beyond what can be offered locally are confronted with roadblocks should they try to spread their wings Her attention is not solely on the hardships of the place There is also respect She makes it very clear that even though they might not call it science farmers practice an applied version reuiring as much scientific method as the search for a cancer cure She points out the rugged beauty of a thing like hands on sheep shearing and clearly mourns its passing Kingsolver actually raises sheep so the craft may not be uite dead yetKingsolver offers a nice cast of characters to whom she gives substance Dell has a snarky sense of humor that I particularly enjoyed Hubby Cub is a decent sort and we get a sense of him limitations and all Their son Preston is the kind of kid most intelligent parents dream of an eager hungry learner The scenes of Dellarobia’s with her bff Dovey are invigorating And it is fascinating to see the change over time in the relationship Dell has with her mother in law Hester and in learning the secret that Hester has so carefully hiddenKingsolver ingeniously counterpoints the nature events that define the story with the experiences of her characters Dellarobia searches for the right place to be just as the butterflies do There are parallels to the butterflies’ experience of having their homes washed away in floods And like the beautiful invaders Dell must undergo a metamorphosis gathering sustenance where she can find it in order to wend her way to the next stage in her life Sometimes reflection alters one’s view of a film a piece of music or a book On the first run through I felt that at times the book was a bit preachy Kingsolver does drag out disposable characters to make a point here and there But the process of reviewing causes one to look closer and with that effort my appreciation for the book grew Initially I was taken with some passing humor While there certainly is humor here much of it centered around the doings at a local church some of which might resonate for viewers of GCB this is a serious book addressing serious matters The humor leavens the tale but this is about our world becoming unhinged and about people finding their way to their best places Kingsolver offers a caring nuanced look at life in Appalachia and raises our awareness of what real global warming looks like to actual people If you haven’t already gotten your hands on this volume fly to your bookstore before it is too late Ok OK I know it is not on sale until November but you can still flutter over to the bookstore or library and put in an order or a hold PS For what it’s worth I see Amy Adams or maybe Jennifer Lawrence as Dellarobia Lance Rettick as Ovid Melissa Leo as HesterPPS – I am not much taken with the cover design at least the one on the ARE It consists of hundreds of tear shapes that do not much suggest flight to me but rather leaves floating on a pond or even reptile scales What am I missing here?EXTRA STUFFThe author’s personal siteItems of Interest From the Butterfly website on the Michoacan habitat From the Texas Butterfly Ranch on the reduction in the Monarchs’ travel numbers January 25 2019 NY Times Are We Watching the End of the Monarch Butterfly?Reviews of other Kingsolver books The Poisonwood Bible The Lacuna Unsheltered


  2. says:

    I love Barbara Kingsolver All of her books automatically go on my to read list because she's brilliant One of the things I love about her is how uniue her books are from one another She writes different kind of characters in disparate environments and focuses on varying themes I find it so impressive when authors can reinvent themselves so often Flight Behavior is my fourth Kingsolver book Unfortunately unlike the others this one failed to meet my expectationsMy first Kingsolver read was The Bean Trees which centers around a girl desperate to get out of her small hick town where most of the girls are pregnant before they even leave high school She wants to be one of the ones to leave and never come back Through some odd circumstances she finds herself stuck raising a baby that's not hers sort of falling into motherhood The plot itself didn't have much appeal for me as a reader but the book was utterly compelling and I loved it so much Kingsolver's powerful writing and intriguing uirky characters pulled me in despite myselfIn Flight Behavior Kingsolver again focuses on a heroine who had dreams of escaping her hick town but this one didn't make it Dellarobia hoped to go to college but wound up pregnant instead Even worse the baby boy died leaving her stuck in a marriage with a man she doesn't respect and reliant on judgmental in laws Her unhappiness manifests itself in a wandering eye; she has had a number of crushes on men flirted with the idea of an affair The hook of the novel is when Dellarobia heads up the mountain to meet with one of her men and cheat on her husband On her way she sees the forest burning with butterflies and interprets that as a sign from God that she needs to go back to her life and make goodDellarobia's life certainly is unfortunate and it's such a shame that her promise was wasted on this small town where kids only take two years of rudimentary math in school Even the bright ones aren't given enough education to be able to get out of town I feel for her but I didn't connect with her or any of the other characters In all of Kingsolver's previous works I was held rapt in unfamiliar worlds by the power of the characters and the writing but these characters simply failed to grab onto my heart and take holdAnother problem too is that while the writing is beautiful as always and shows that you can not write in dialect but still achieve a southern feel the story feels a bit like a combination of two of the Kingsolver books I'd previously read The Bean Trees and Prodigal Summer Revisiting old themes while not what I know Kingsolver for can be done well but in this case it felt repetitive and less well doneFlight Behavior feels like it was written not so much for the characters as to be the vehicle for a message global warming is real and it's not just about changing temperatures Now of course it's alright for books to have a moral a message but I don't like to feel like I'm being beat over the head with it or being talked down toThe butterflies Dellarobia witnessed normally wintered in Mexico but moved to her small town because of environmental changes and now the whole population of Monarch butterflies could be in danger of extinction A lepidopterist comes to study them and works with and teaches Dellarobia highlighting her boredom with her husband and her desire for something bigger Because of her rudimentary education the reader receives both the scientific explanations for everything and the 'country' version a cute little metaphor for everything that's happening This felt a bit insulting to me as though this setting was chosen to allow for global warming to be explained in a simplified way that the stupid disbelievers could fathom Prodigal Summer also dealt with the importance of taking care of the environment but did not make me feel so lecturedPerhaps I'm being a bit harsh but I'm disappointed to have not enjoyed a book by one of my favorite authors Her writing is still gorgeous but the book is massive slow and filled with a lot of minutiae about Dellarobia's life I could have done without Surely others will appreciate this one most of the reviews on Goodreads are highly flattering and NPR approves but it fell flat with me


  3. says:

    Redneck environmentalism Now there's a contradiction in terms Kingsolver's writing is up to its usual high standards and her character development is outstanding She just tried to stuff way too many things into one sausage casing The result is something tough to chew sometimes bland and slow to digest In this novel BK was fixated on long conversations while the characters are shopping There was one with Cub and Dellarobia in the dollar store and another with Dovey and Dellarobia in the secondhand store The conversations and the shopping that accompanied them felt endless It was almost as bad as listening to all the idiots who natter away on their cell phones in public placesRating 25 stars


  4. says:

    Barbara Kingsolver is one of those rare writers with whom you know what you are getting before you open the first pageYou know for example that the prose is going to be literary dense and luscious take this descriptive line Summer’s heat had never really arrived nor the cold in turn and everything living now seemed to yearn for sun with the anguish of the unloved” You know that the content will focus on some kind of social justice biodiversity or environmental issue You know too that at some point Ms Kingsolver will cross the line into authorial intrusion based on her passion for the subject she is writing onBut you keep coming back for At least I do There is something mesmerizing about a Barbara Kingsolver novel and something refreshing about a writer who combines a solid scientific background with stunning proseThis book is entitled Flight Behavior and for good reason It opens with a young Appalachian woman – Dellarobia Turnbow – ready to take flight from her shotgun marriage and closed in life with two young children On her way up the mountain to engage in an affair she views an astounding natural phenomenon that changes everything for herThe core of the novel focuses on that phenomenoncentering on the migratory patterns of the bright orange Monarch butterfly usually viewed only in Mexico The topic is climate change and Ms Kingsolver slashes through the obtuse definitions with language anyone can understand Dellarobia is paired thematically with a Harvard educated scientist Ovid Byron whose lifework is studying the butterflies He says “If you woke up one morning Dellarobia and one of your eyes had moved to the side of your head how would you feel about that?” That in effect is the same as the butterflies migrating to AppalachiaThere is much to love about this novel Dellarobia is authentically portrayed a woman who is confined in a life she has outgrown complete with two very genuinely created toddlers and a best friend who is not similarly constrained The duality of science and religion is also tackled While Barbara Kingsolver makes no secret of how she feels about those who piously say “Weather is the Lord’s business” while polluting our environment she also concedes to the majesty and mystery of nature culling in parallels from Job and NoahUltimately Ms Kingsolver leaves us with the most important uestion of all “what was the use of saving a world that had no soul left in it Continents without butterflies seas without coral reefWhat if all human effort amounted basically to saving a place for ourselves to park?” The interconnectedness of all nature’s creatures – and our true place in our own lives and in the lives of the universe – is a message that lives on in this reader’s mind long after the last page is closed


  5. says:

    Yes Ms Kingsolver knows her way around a pretty turn of phrase In this book however she uses her pretty language to dress up an unlikeable bitch and then she harangues us on and on about global warming the sins of buying shoddy goods made overseas the shameful state of rural education hmmm did I miss anything? People make SPEECHES in this book as if it were conversation And then she has the less bitchy friend of the bitch woman throw in old chestnuts from church bulletin boards which trust me you've read before and they weren't that funny the first time Dude Those of us who read your books are the choir uit preaching at US


  6. says:

    I adored this book I drank it in slowly trying to make the story last and as a result I ended up becoming very involved in Dellarobia's life loving her children and newfound passions while also feeling frustrated and stuck by aspects of her situation This book is about global warming without really being all about global warming Somehow Kingsolver a biologist herself has woven the frightening and undeniable crisis of global warming into a beautiful coming of age story about a woman whose teenagehood was cut short by pregnancy early marriage but is finally learning to find her real self


  7. says:

    The author has a real point to make here global warming is bad logging is bad they're killing the monarch butterfly population and Attention Must Be Paid That message is interwoven with the story of Dellarobia Turnbow a poor farmer's wife who used to have dreams of college and something betterDellarobia married Cub at 17 pregnant with his child She miscarried and rather than leave Cub and continue with her plans for college she stays eventually having Preston and Cordelia One day thinking she was so fed up that she was ready to have an affair with a much younger man she walks up the hill from their farm and it's a miracle The valley at the top of the hill is alive with flame This sight turns her around convinced that she should keep on the path she's already onWe learn that this field of flame is really an aberration millions? of monarch butterflies who usually winter in Mexico have descended on this valley in Tennessee Soon it's national news and then Dr Ovid Byron moves in to an RV parked near their barn Ovid and his graduate students post docs and volunteers study monarchs occasionally pontificating on the horrors of global warming and the loss of the monarch It's at those moments that the book lost me Dellarobia's journey was interesting the monarchs a little less so When characters start to serve as mouthpieces or deliver great scads of polemic I tend to tune out That's not to say that there isn't something to worry about that I'm a denier of climate change just that it felt as though Ovid could have been edited down a little The scene with him and the tv reporter? Totally unnecessaryThe ending also felt off when did Dellarobia and Cub come to the decisions they did? What about her new insights into Hester and Bear? It was rushed and had less Big Message been packed in perhaps we could have had a better endingARC provided by publisher


  8. says:

    When I first heard the title to Barbara Kingsolver’s seventh novel I thought of airplanes Such is the orientation of the 21st century Well prepare to step into the rural economically depressed farming and sheepherding town of Feathertown Tennessee where the shepherds flock on Sundays to commune with Pastor Bobby Ogle their beloved and kind preacher and spiritual leader This is the kind of repressed technologically challenged community who believes that weather is determined by God not by science and that the past year’s flooding was decreed by the heavens and can only be reversed by prayer In this story the survival techniues of the Monarch butterfly those bright orange delicate but hardy creatures and that of a diminutive flame haired young woman are inextricably intertwined and analogous The Monarchs have had an atypical flight behavior this year Floods and landslides led to felled trees everywhere in their usual roosting place in Mexico Subseuently they migrated to Feathertown to overwinter Why Feathertown? That’s the big uestion that one team of scientists comes to examine However they are challenged by the residents who are skeptical of science based answers to climate based uestions In the meantime residents of Feathertown need to fill their coffersDellarobia Turnbow 27 has her own kind of flight behaviors spurred on by too much domestic confinement too soon and now she is primed to flee restive—flying from pillar to post as her mother always said Unlike the rest of the townspeople she wasn’t as inspired by religion“She was a911 Christian in the event of an emergency call the LordJesus was a reliable backer less likely to drink himself unconscious or get liver cancer No wonder people chose Him as their number one friend But if the chemistry wasn’t there what could you do?”Married in a shotgun wedding ten years ago she lost a preemie before having two children Her husband Cub is a large docile and complacent man controlled and essentially managed by his mirthless parents Dellarobia knows that to live in this town is to be under a microscope; she was the untamed child once and that wildness is rearing its head again her dormancy coming to an end The first chapter “The Measure of a Man” is the catalyst for both Dellarobia’s evolution and the arc of the story If you want to experience it fresh and unspoiled avoid reading the jacket blurb Kingsolver’s time honored talent for yoking the struggle and turmoil of man with the flux and beauty of nature is vividly drawn She builds the final dramatic scene of the chapter to a mannature composition that is at once distilled and dynamic serene and dramatic Abundant also are Biblical allusions that reflect the community’s ethos Kingsolver is an agent of social change She established the Bellwether prize in literature in order to award writers who effect change for the good of humanity She is also a scholar with postgrad degrees in biology and environmental science You are going to encounter a stout measure of activism in her writing covering such issues as the degradation of the planet and its natural resources and the contentious class system of society If her political evocations have bothered you in the past they are likely to bother you here tooNevertheless the author weaves in her social issues with finesse for the most part and her vivid portrait of Feathertown is sympathetic and informed Initially she seems to lampoon the pious science fearing populace but she gradually tenders the reader to an understanding of the religious community She slowly develops dialogue between urban rural and academic minds and concerns The biblical allusions are also ripe and fitting relevant to the inhabitants of Feathertown and the way they see the “miracle” of nature Dellarobia represents a connection between both worlds This is the second book I have read that highlights the migratory patterns and survival modes of the Monarch butterfly and braids in the journey of self actualization and coming to terms with loss Sanctuary Line by Jane Uruhart is also socially and environmentally conscious and is an apt companion piece to this book The clash of family science religion media politics and environment takes Dellarobia on a uest beyond the emotional and intellectual borders she has known all her life on a journey of discovery and transformation Like a butterfly out of the chrysalis she must follow the path of her future45 stars


  9. says:

    Dellarobia Turnbow an unhappy young farm wife living in Feathertown in Appalachia is about to embark on an extramarital affair when the sight of a blazing orange forest changes her mind It turns out the startling sight is caused by millions of Monarch butterflies covering the trees far from their usual winter home in MexicoThe biological oddity attracts widespread attention and theories about its cause range from an act of God to a world gone haywire from climate changeDr Ovid Byron a butterfly expert comes to Feathertown and sets up a temporary lab to study the insectsDellarobia prevented from attending college by a shot gun marriage at age 17 gets a job helping Dr Byron and becomes engrossed in the research This in turn magnifies the tediousness and poverty of Dellarobia's everyday life The book is partly a treatise on the dire conseuences of climate change and partly a character study of the Feathertown people who tend to reject scientific explanations for changes in nature regarding them as God's will The book didn't have a strong plot in the usual sense but the characters were interesting and the dangers of climate change were boldly drawn It's not my favorite Barbara Kingsolver book but it's well written and worth readingYou can follow my reviews at


  10. says:

    A very difficult book to rate I almost gave up on it but became engaged around page 100 Though not completely engaged It's just not that interesting though some of the writing is very good Not Kingsolver's best 3 12 stars


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