Book Review – Flight Behaviour

by Barbara Kingsolver (Faber & Faber) ISBN 9780571290789

My expectations were high, when I got hold of the latest book by the queen of literature, Barbara Kingsolver. And she has not disappointed me. Her writing style is superb, her plot flows and I could relate to the characters. This is a book that cannot be read in a rush, for each word and each sentence must be savoured. The plot line is almost of secondary importance to the way Kingsolver spins her magic with words.

Dellarobia is on her way to follow her flirtation when she is distracted by what at first seems a forest of fire: millions of butterflies flaming the valley orange with their colours. Everyone interprets this phenomenon differently. Dellarobia sees it as a cautionary miracle, for the scientist Ovid it is a sign of devastation and the media jumps in on this opportunity. The small town opens to the world and Dellarobia’s life changes.

The underlying themes are the impact of global warming and social injustice. The butterfly wonder releases emotions in activists, politicians and close family members: everyone acts from their own motives and the dynamics of the family and the village where Dellarobia lives change in her search for truth.

Pauline Vijverberg
Posted on: 21st January 2013