Book Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

la-ca-jc-barbara-kingsolver-20121104-001Call it global warming. Call it climate change. Call it wear-a-tshirt-in-January. Whatever you call it, it is one of the most controversial topics of our time. In her latest novel, Kentucky darling Barbara Kingsolver attacks the subject with delicacy and grace. She does it through the lens with which we are most familiar with here on Sustainable Kentucky: the family farm.

Flight Behavior takes us to rural America, to a struggling family farm, and shows us the direct effects of a climate in upheaval. Some of these effects are bad, and some are seemingly miraculous—but all are a sign of something out of balance, something unpredictable and uncontrollable. More than just some scientific information set into a fiction plot, the novel is a very human story—about love, about independence, about identity. As always, Ms. Kingsolver manages to capture the fine intricacies of life in a rural town with such attention to detail that you might think your own home town was under the microscope.

What I appreciate most, however, is the delicate way that she deals with a multi-facted issue. She acknowledges that there is a broad cross-section of world citizens who do not take to heart the warnings of climate change scientists. They believe instead that it is some hoax cooked up to cater to a liberal agenda. Rather than throw those people out as ignorant or arrogant, she really captures the nuances of how they got to such a belief and why they continue to stay there.

I loved this book, and I especially loved that it is written to be enjoyable to someone who falls on either side of the climate change fence. You should definitely add this to your reading list. And if you still haven’t read her non-fiction hit Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about living off of local food, read it first! It is one of my favorite books of all time.


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3 Responses to “Book Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver”

  1. March 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I recently posted about this novel (contrasting it with Crichton’s State of Fear) and referenced your review:

  2. November 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    I’ve used your image of Kingsolver and the cover, with credit, for a review of the book at TYWKIWDBI (


  1. Flight Behavior | Dj Matioka Blog - May 15, 2014

    […] and “Moorit” (a black sheep) Author/cover image at top from Sustainable Kentucky, where the book is also reviewed.  The side embed is of a Monarch raised at our home last […]