In the novel Flight Behavior (HarperCollins, 2012), Barbara Kingsolver employs the style of her early works to convey the story of a young, desperately poor heroine, Dellarobia, who draws on her brains, sass, and passion to escape what seems to be her grim destiny. In the style of her recent works, Kingsolver tackles the dilemma of climate change by making it personal for the book’s main character and her tight-knit Appalachian clan. On her way to an illicit afternoon tryst in the hills behind her family’s farm, Dellarobia discovers the trees alight with thousands of orange Monarch butterflies. Running back home, saved from her sins, Dellarobia returns to her hardscrabble life. The butterfly sighting is declared a vision from God by the townsfolk and ignites a flurry of interest from the national media and climate scientists. The end result is a clash between generations, cultures, religious fundamentalists, environmentalists, and everything Dellarobia holds true. With marvelous prose and deep insight, Kingsolver speaks to the contemporary issues that tie Dellarobia’s salvation to that of our planet.
~ Sue Muncaster