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BOOKS: Flight Behavior

BOOKS: An Appalachian hike leads to a season of life-changing decisions.


Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, Henderson Libraries, Book Reviews

Courtesy Henderson Libraries

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Set in rural Tennessee in the present, Flight Behavior deals with climate change and the unexpected effects on the people as well as the environment.

The story begins with Dellarobia Turnbow hiking up a mountain path in present day Appalachia to meet a man in a hunting cabin for what she fantasizes will be the start of a new life for her.

She lives in a house on her in-laws’ sheep farm along with her husband, Cub, and their two young children. Before she reaches the cabin Dellarobia is confronted by the forest blanketed in orange, which she first thinks is a forest fire but there are no flames or heat. She takes it as a miracle, a sign not to continue on to the cabin, and returns to her home.

She doesn’t tell anyone about what she witnessed until she learns that Bear (Cub’s father) intends to allow a lumber company to clear cut the land. Dellarobia convinces the family to visit the area before the clear cutting begins. When they see the trees covered in orange, which are actually monarch butterflies (“King Billies” as Dellarobia’s mother-in-law calls them) that have lost their way on their annual migration, it is the catalyst for Dellarobia to examine the life she had resigned herself to ten years earlier, and to make some painful decisions if she is to realize the life she once imagined for herself and her children. | iH

The Henderson Library Book Club meets the last Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm at the Gibson Library. 

This review of Flight Behavior was featured on page 12 of the April 2015 issue of Inside Henderson magazine.

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