Flight Behavior - Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior

By Barbara Kingsolver

  • Release Date: 2012-11-06
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
4 Score: 4 (From 815 Ratings)


New York Times Bestseller

"An intricate story that entwines considerations of faith and faithlessness, inquiry, denial, fear and survival in gorgeously conceived metaphor. Kingsolver has constructed a deeply affecting microcosm of a phenomenon that is manifesting in many different tragic ways, in communities and ecosystems all around the globe.” — Seattle Times

A truly stunning and unforgettable work from the extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.


  • Fantastically thought-provoking

    By RMerkl
    Kingsolver's characters filled the four chambers of my heart, each with a different feeling: disappointment, empathy, hopelessness, pride in their dogged resilience. It is too easy to simply despise a character, but I must admit, Kingsolver's ability to put me in Dellarobia's brain led me to hope a terrific accident befell Hester. More than once. We all know there are reasons for characters' behaviors, though, and Kingsolver did not disappoint. The best scene that captured the urban-rural conflict/misunderstandings and the disconnect between what our society understands about each other (and the issues?) happens when a man is handing out carbon footprint flyers. Everything about this scene is perfect. The setting. The categories and questions. The reactions of the man and Dellarobia. Read this book. Discuss it with others. It made me think about so much. Thank you.
  • Rush to an ending.

    By DyslexicDOG
    I agree with most reviewers who found this novel lacking in depth and commitment to these characters who's thoughts and feelings we hear in great detail. But it was as if someone else wrapped up this story in a hurried manner. It was as if a chapter was left out. Suddenly a main character is gone and we're left to wonder what transpired. It also bothered me that the some of the major events, like Monarchs in a snowstorm, are pretty much fictional, based on my research. Sadly, I had just finished reading the Lacuna, which I loved. Very disappointing, but not typical of this writer.
  • reward for intelligent reading

    By MackWest
    highly intelligent prose and full of philosophical challenges.
  • Boring

    By Barn13
    Rarely do I not finish a book but this was one of those rare occasions. Read 75% of it thinking it would get better but it never did. Just couldn't torture myself any more.
  • Overall good

    By Maria Peace
    I picked up this book thinking it would be about a housewife wanting to get away from her disappointing life. It turned out this this novel encompassed so much more. I found the story beyond the main character's family life compelling. I do have to say, at times, when the story revolved around climate change, it felt heavy handed. I know about climate change and do not doubt it is happening, but the book began to feel preachy. It was annoying, but it did not stop me from reading the book. By the end, I was sad that it ended because I did enjoy the novel overall.
  • Flight behavior

    By La Gite
    Engrossing and beautifully written. It mostly escapes being "preachy" through fine characters and a well wrought story.
  • just could not read this!

    By CathyOM
    Sorry to say I too could not get into this book. I really disliked the characters and it was so tedious to read I gave up. Such a disappointment.
  • Plaintive, Searing, extraordinary

    By tunefiend
    Kingsolver is amazing. I've never read anyone who captures the stark yet dull terror of the poverty of mind so evident in our American south. Raised in poor Appalachia myself she brings it to life yet imbues it with dignity and humanity. A wonderful book by a gifted writer. So grateful for the hours I spent in its company.
  • Love the author but not this book

    By Bay Bettina
    I've read just about every book this author has ever written and enjoyed those books thoroughly- esp. The Poisonwood Bible and the Bean Trees serries. This review feels like a betrayal to my previous experience with Kingsolver, and I say this as someone who's career has involved trying to increase awareness about climate change. I found this book as tedious as a toothache. It felt like she was trying way too hard to make readers care about climate change (which I didn't even think was possible) and way too little about the heart of the book. The characters were not developed well and i found them to be fairly unlikeable and dull. I hope she is hard at work on another novel that surpasses this one.
  • Not worth the time or money

    By D-Moore NYC
    I thought this book was a complete waste of time. The writing was good, included a couple of laughs. Definitely not worth the money.