Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver's latest novel, delivers readers into a world where orange-black flakes of Monarch butterflies cover every tree with "trembling flame," and where the air itself "glows golden" whenever they take flight. It is a world where Appalachian culture itself shines so brightly it makes putting down the book to get back to "the real world" nearly impossible. Kingsolver's characters, too, are real and alive, filled with delightful surprises as they grow and change-and as readers change with them. I fell in love with them and the world they inhabit, and kept them with me long after the novel ended. And, as a writer, I was astounded at how much I learned, at how much Kingsolver could teach about the world and people in it while at the same time taking my breath away and bringing me to tears. Flight Behavior is a stunning novel. Readers shouldn't miss it.— Susan Lang
November 2012 Indie Next List
“Dellarobia Turnbow, who is ready to run away from her unsatisfactory life on a Tennessee farm, comes across a river of flame on the mountain behind her home: millions of Monarch butterflies. The insects, wintering in Appalachia instead of their traditional Mexican grounds, open Dellarobia's circumscribed life, slowly drawing her out into the wider world. Kingsolver's precise prose, deep characters, and provocative questions -- evidence versus faith, duty versus choice, facts versus perception -- will resonate with readers as they contemplate the real world and its global changes.”
— Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY
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 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. 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.
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 world.