"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Dellarobia Turnbow is an unhappy, unfulfilled housewife in rural Tennessee, ready to throw away the life that she knows for a sexual tryst with a younger man. Their rendezvous spot, a hunting hut, is on the family property up the mountain. Vanity keeps Dellarobia from wearing her glasses that day so when she encounters a forest aglow with yellow and orange, she thinks God is speaking to her as He did to Moses with a burning bush. The vision she encounters is such an unearthly beauty. She feels like she is "on the inside of joy." Dellarobia abandons her plans to meet up with a lover and descends the mountain a new woman, determined to live a different life.

What she encountered wasn't a burning bush, but an insect, the monarch butterfly. And it's arrival will soon bring the world to Dellarobia's doorstep. The presence of the butterflies on the mountain is an indication that the climate has gone haywire and things in the environment aren't working as they should. But Dellarobia doesn't "believe in" climate change and is very wary of science and scientists, believing, like so many of her neighbors that weather changes are God's will. But soon she will have to confront both her faith and science.

This is my kind of book. First, Flight Behavior is written by Barbara Kingsolver and that gal CAN write. Kingsolver, as Dominique Browning of the NY Times says,  "has a gift of the resplendence of her prose. She takes palpable pleasure in the craft of writing, creating images that stay with the reader long after her story is done." If I had been reading the book rather than listening to the audiobook I'm sure my copy would be full of highlights of these exquisitely written phrases and sentences.

Secondly, the book is spot on. It tackles a very tricky and touchy subject, climate change. And does so from different points of view. As a person who accepts the fact climate change is related to human activities, I found this book instructive to finally see the argument from the other side. As a woman of faith, it was refreshing to have a character, Pastor Bobby, who didn't think that Christians had to check their brains at the sanctuary doors.

In Flight Behavior there are no easy answers but there is reason to hope.  Hope that it isn't too late.  Hope that we, mankind, can change. Hope for tomorrow.  It reminds me of the Emily Dickinson poem, "Hope it is the things with feathers- that perches in my soul- and sings the tune without the words- and never stops-at all."

As I said before, I listened to the audiobook which was read by Barbara Kingsolver herself. I shared the experience with my husband. I always treasure shared literary moments so this was an extra treat for me. Kingsolver does a nice job with the accents of the characters and the pacing of the text. Next time around I'm going to read it for myself, though, because I still want to use a highlighter on the book.  I highly recommend it.



30 books this Summer Reading Challenge


8 / 30 books. 26% done!

3 comments:

  1. I'm liking the Kingsolver a lot too, although I've gotten distracted by Gone Girl--which I have a love/hate relationship with.

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    1. I haven't started Gone Girl yet, though I have it ready to load on my iPod.

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  2. I have seen a lot of people posting about this book on Instagram, but this is the first review. It reminds me a bit of Prodigal Summer by Kingsolver, which I really liked

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