"Unearthly beauty had appeared to her, a vision of glory to stop her in the road."
~Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
Sometimes, seeing is not believing.
Published in 2012, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver is the story of Dellarobia Turnbow, a farm wife who lives in Appalachia with her husband, Cub, and their two small children, Cordelia and Preston. Dellarobia married young--at the age of seventeen--because she got pregnant, which marked the end of her formal education. One day, as Dellarobia hikes up a mountain to meet someone, she encounters a "forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire". Dazzled by this vision, and not sure what she's seeing, this remarkable sight affects Dellarobia in a profound way, and marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in her life.
|Male Monarch, courtesy of Wikipedia|
Flight Behavior is suffused with humanity, humor, and grace. I love the way that Barbara Kingsolver writes, the way she thinks. She brought me to a place I knew little about, rural Appalachia. Through her descriptions, I was in the mountains and wet woods, which burst to life through the people, butterflies, and farm animals. The protagonist, Dellarobia, is real and flawed, but also very likable. Both sharp and feisty, Dellarobia and her mother-in-law, Hester, are competitive with each other and butt heads quite often. I wanted Dellarobia to be happier and to reach (at least some of) the potential she relinquished when she got married (I also wanted to extinguish her cigarette cravings). Dellarobia and her husband shop at second-hand shops not because it's fashionable but because that's all they can afford; they're struggling to make ends meet, and have few possessions (they do not even own Christmas tree ornaments). But Dellarobia's life is rich in a different sense. She's a dedicated and caring mother, who awakens the budding scientist in her son, Preston (and will hopefully do the same for her daughter, Cordie, when she's a bit older).
|Female Monarch, courtesy of Wikipedia|
Special thanks to Trish from TLC for sending me this book. For more reviews, please visit the other stops on TLC's book tour for Flight Behavior. This was my first book by Barbara Kingsolver, and I'm now very interested in reading The Lacuna, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and other works by this no-longer-new-to-me author.
Your comments are welcomed.