Flight Behavior: Small Town Life & Big Time Changes

Wow, this is a dense book. Every page has so much to say on it and that both works for and against Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingslover. Sure, this is a book about climate change and the dangers that lie ahead of us, but it’s also a really intimate story of a family, and an even more intimate story of a woman just trying to get a grasp on reality and figure it all out.

The story begins in a very strange way, in the sense that it felt like I was missing out on very important information. What this did, however, was allow me to piece together information as I kept reading. For example, the complications of Dellarobia’s marriage, her miscarriage, and her strange relationship with her mother-in-law, Hester. I didn’t really like thinking about this book as a story and a warning on climate change like some of the others that were read in this class, instead I enjoyed more focusing on the lives of the characters.

There are many times throughout the book where Kingslover pushes the characters forward in situations that feel all too real, but also in clever ways as well. For example, when Cub and Dellarobia go Christmas shopping, different items and areas of the store seem to create another layer in their argument. It’s an intelligent way of writing that unfortunately also goes a little overboard. Dellarobia certainly has a wandering mind, and there are many times where I found myself skimming through paragraphs so I could just get on with the story instead of Dellarobia, more or less speaking for Kingslover, talking on and on about her viewpoint and opinions.

While this book did feel a bit too long and crowded with tangents that went on and on, it was a very memorable story. The characters felt more real and three dimensional than any others that we read about in this class. There’s also a lot of great imagery with the butterflies, but also with much smaller family scenes. It felt like it took me forever to get through Flight Behavior, but it’s a story I won’t soon forget.

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