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Flight Behavior    by Barbara Kingsolver Amazon.com order for
Flight Behavior
by Barbara Kingsolver
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

What a wonderful book. A work of fiction, but one that will pull the reader up short on realizing what the author has to say. With Flight Behavior, author Barbara Kingsolver has given her many fans a novel to remember.

Oddly named Dellarobia had a wedding and a baby shower all in one when she was a teenager of seventeen. Although she lost the baby, she is still married to Cub, living in the Appalachians in a world that was handed to her, not one she really chose. She has parents-in-law with whom she has not bonded, even after eleven years. She now has two children. Cordelia, at three, is already a wild child. Then there is Preston, a five year-old kindergartener, a solemn boy who lives to ask questions and expects answers.

On her way to an illicit assignation, Dellarobia stumbles on a sight never before seen in her mountains. A forested valley is filled with monarch butterflies, forming a golden vista as the winged, migrating creatures cover every tree in clumps, clinging to each other to form a whole.

Dellarobia, with this incredible sight as a catalyst, begins to learn what life is really all about. As the world converges on her family's patch of the mountain, she meets the curious who come to see the butterflies. She soaks up the knowledge that is placed before her about monarchs, and the terrible (happening now) effects of global warming.

Flight Behavior is an incredible novel full of folklore, as well as what is happening to our planet and what we can do to help it stay alive. Kingsolver always presents her fans with wonderful novels, ones that take the reader to revel in another life for a few hours. This book will stay with me for some time. It's one to mull over, agree with, and find respect for a woman who feels so strongly about what we all must do - and isn't afraid to speak out about it. Flight Behavior is an engrossing story told in Kingsolver's elegant prose.

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