Book Review: "Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver

A magical tale that's part family drama, part paean to a magnificent landscape

by Dani Shapiro
flight behavior book image

Dellarobia Turnbow doesn’t get out much.  Her two small children, lackluster husband, over-involved in-laws and hardscrabble life on a failing farm threaten to oppress her completely until one day she witnesses what she comes to think of as a miracle.  On her way to an ill-advised tryst (is there any other kind?) she stumbles upon an eerily beautiful sight, which at first she takes to be flames, sparks, an orange blaze: it turns out that something astonishing is happening on her family’s property, in a valley meant to be logged. Kingsolver’s magical tale is part family drama, part paean to a magnificent landscape—and an outcry against the all-too-real effects of global warming as they take shape in this marvelous writer’s imagination.

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