Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver


So maybe you’re hanging in on a Friday night (like me), wondering what to read next (like me). Or maybe it’s Saturday and you’d like a book to help you procrastinate, because really, who wants to clean the bathroom right now?  Look no further. Barbara Kingsolver is a five star author. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be reading her instead of doing anything else. 

The first novel I read by Kingsolver was The Bean Trees. Loved it. So clever. I reviewed it on this blog. Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior – even more clever. See, Barbara Kingsolver writes in layers, so I can effortlessly enjoy the superficial layer: Dellarobia and her family living in Appalachia; the beauty of butterflies and the wonder of their migration. 

And then I can look underneath… at the marriage struggles, and the secrets, and the desires to stop the cycle of poverty and ignorance. I can understand the socioeconomic and ecological divisiveness that microcosms create. 

And as I keep reading, the deepest layer peeks out: the hows and whys of nature gone wrong; the right way to be honest with the ones you love; the flight of survival, even when it takes you away from the comfortable, predictable place you’ve always called home. 

There’s even more, of course. Love, religion, education, science,  living off the land… Kingsolver addresses myriad facets of life and polishes them from underneath. She keeps putting pieces together… And when you see the result you’ll be amazed. 

This is a five-star read. 



2 thoughts on “Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

  1. My feelings after reading Kingsolver’s book described here? Way too much verbiage to tell a story. Perhaps it was just me – expecting a plot based story rather than the intricate, psychological introspection we were privy to digesting this book.
    Whatever. For the record, I also attempted another book she wrote: The Poisonwood Bible. I couldn’t get into that one & bailed out after a few chapters. As we know, reading is a personal choice & I’ve found an author who’s now definitely not on any future TBR lists for me.

    • I read The Bean Trees first, and that was less verbose. I do see a recurring theme though, after reading two Kingsolver novels – how man reflects nature and vice versa. I think she tries for metaphor – and IMO she succeeds. But I don’t read literary fiction as a rule. Kingsolver is my once-in-a-while in a sea of much lighter fare.

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