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message 1: by Book Concierge (last edited Jan 24, 2020 02:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5549 comments Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Flight Behavior – Barbara Kingsolver
Audiobook read by the author

Dellarobia Turnbow is ten years into a marriage that has never satisfied her. Unsure how to deal with her restlessness she flirts with a younger man, a telephone lineman, and suggests a tryst in a hunter’s blind deep in the woods behind her home. But as she climbs to this ill-thought-out meeting, she encounters a strange sight that literally stops her in her tracks. The only way she can describe it is “a lake of fire.”

Kingsolver has crafted a story of one woman’s awakening, and simultaneously a warning about climate change. I found the story compelling from both perspectives.

Dellarobia is a fascinating character. She’s intelligent but lacks education, having gotten pregnant and married right out of high school. Her community is small and somewhat restrictive. People are mostly struggling to survive in deep Appalachia. They do not have time to ponder philosophy or global impact. And they are quick to judge anyone who tries to break out of the mold. Focus is on family and church. Dellarobia and her husband live on his parents’ land, in a house just a stone’s throw from his mother and father. Yet they have limited say in their own future. It’s no wonder she’s feeling suffocated and unfulfilled.

But when her in-laws discover the amazing sight on the mountain things begin to change. Dellarobia becomes the focus of media attention and her image goes viral. She begins helping the scientist who comes to study the phenomenon, and this opens her eyes to new possibilities.

While the book begins with a self-described rash act, I found Dellarobia to be much more cautious than that initial impression. I liked the way she thought about, questioned, researched, and considered her life, her family, her relationships and her future. I liked that she begins to make some hard decisions that are first about her own survival, and ultimately about her family as well.

Certainly, there are references to religion (just google “lake of fire” and the bible). And Kingsolver is questioning how people can believe something in the face of contradictory evidence – in this case about climate change. I know many people criticize Kingsolver for being preachy, but I did not find her message overbearing in this book. It certainly gave me plenty to think about.

I did find the ending somewhat abrupt and would love to have some discussion about it with one of my F2F book clubs. Unfortunately for me, this book has not yet made it to the reading list for any of them … yet.

Kingsolver narrates the audiobook herself, and she does a fine job. She makes no effort to give the characters significantly different voices, though she does attempt a vaguely “Caribbean” accent for Ovid.

My full review HERE

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7644 comments I also really enjoyed this book! Probably not surprising given my science background. I feel like the only book I really found preachy (though I have not read everything she has written) was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Ugh, that one was the worst.

If you liked this book, I highly recommend Prodigal Summer.

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 8188 comments I remember liking this book a long time back! Thought it was beautiful! But thumbs up for Nicole! Prodigal Summer was an all time favorite for me!

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5549 comments Nicole R wrote: "I also really enjoyed this book! Probably not surprising given my science background. I feel like the only book I really found preachy (though I have not read everything she has written) was [book:..."

I've read almost everything she's written. I really enjoy her writing.

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