Book Review: Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight BehaviourWhat’s it about?

On the Appalachian Mountains above her home, a young mother discovers a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature. As the world around her is suddenly transformed by a seeming miracle, can the old certainties they have lived by for centuries remain unchallenged?

Flight Behaviour is a captivating, topical and deeply human story touching on class, poverty and climate change. It is Barbara Kingsolver’s most accessible novel yet, and explores the truths we live by, and the complexities that lie behind them.

My thoughts

This was our book club monthly read for July and having read The Poisonwood Bible for book club, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy read.

One of the first things that put me off this book was when I started reading and my Kindle told me it was going to take just over 14 hours to read. I read on average an hour an evening with more at the weekend – this did not fill me with hope for a quick read! A hard slog more like!

In the first few pages we meet Dellarobia wandering off to meet her secret lover but instead she discovers the mountainside filled with butterflies, and this changes her life. However, to get to this stage there are pages and pages with block after block of descriptive text with no breaks and I found my mind would wander easily and I hadn’t really missed anything

This was billed as Kingsolver’s “most accessible novel yet” which I interpret to mean that you don’t need to be super intelligent to read it. I didn’t have any trouble understanding the content but it’s just so slow and there’s lots and lots of scientific stuff in here. I felt I was being taught and a little preached to on global warming and the effects of climate change – I didn’t really want this or need this from a novel.

I can appreciate that this novel is excellently written, the characters and subplots are really well developed but I can’t seem to put my finger on this book in terms of what it made me feel. Was it interesting? deep? thought-provoking? informative? Yes, all of these but I was still bored and had I not been reading it for book club, I probably would have given up.

I found the last few chapters the most heartfelt with Dellarobia coming into her own, explaining the loss of her first child to her son, and other significant events that I won’t reveal in case you read it!

Read if you’re a fan of Kingsolver, it’s not one I’d recommend but if you decide to give it a go it’s available on Amazon Flight Behaviour

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