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Flight 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 quickly 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 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. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance 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 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.

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Flight Behavior
Average rating
4.3 / 5
January 29th, 2014
Like most books by Barbara Kingsolver, the real world disappears as you are sucked into a story so real is could be, should be true. That's the best part of all of her books, all the facts are right, but the story is exactly that, fiction. The description of the butterflies is so perfect, it makes me want to go find them
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1 review
Loved it
October 22nd, 2013
I enjoy Barbara Kingsolver's writing and enjoyed this book greatly. I enjoyed the storyline and the characters and the vivid imagery. The end of the story was not what I had envisioned & it left me slightly dissatisfied,but otherwise I loved the story.
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1 review
October 7th, 2013
Barbara Kingsolver does it again! Another amazing read from her that combines the natural world with a heart-tugging portrait of relationships. I wasn't that keen on the mother-in-law character and her relationship with the main character - it was a little disjointed.
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1 review

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