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. 

-calliope

Buy FLIGHT BEHAVIOR

Review: The Bean Trees: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver



Although this book was written more than 15 years ago, it’s certainly a timeless story. 

Taylor Greer leaves her Kentucky home to make her own way in the world. After a few unexpected pit stops and the gift of someone else’s baby, Taylor lands in Arizona. And so begins the story of a young woman making a stable life, with a job, friends, love, and this baby who was given to her. 

This beautifully written novel is about beginnings and endings and human connections.  Taylor’s Guatemalan friends lost a baby, Taylor gained a baby. Lou Ann lost love, Taylor’s mom (and maybe Taylor, too) found love. April lost a mom, then gained more mother figures than she could ever imagine. I could go on and on. 

I can’t stop thinking about April planting things. Was she trying to put down roots? Bury the past? Become one with the land? In any case, the circle of life plays a large role in The Bean Trees. 

I cried slow, deep tears reading this book. The sweet, steady beauty of humanity strikes in harsh contrast to the spare, dry landscape and the cold politics of the government. And I was left with the knowledge that the love of a mother knows no bounds. Read it, and your heart will be touched also. 

-calliope 

Buy THE BEAN TREES