American / Book Reviews / The Latest

A Review of Barbara Kingsolver’s climate change novel: “Flight Behaviour”

Book cover of Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver. The book cover has orange butterflies on it on a light blue background.

Flight Behaviour reminded me that I have not read enough books set in today’s world. It was a refreshing notion that made the story feel personal and very real. It reconnected me to the world, which is a strange thing for me since I usually read to escape. The idea of escapism is not something uncommon to most people and I bet I am not alone when I say that I read to forget. We do many things in our daily lives so we can pretend that the real and important things are either not that important or not there at all.

Barbara Kingsolver addresses escapism through her beautiful characters Dellarobia, Cub, Preston, Dovey, Bobby, Hester, Bear, and Ovid. Each character seems to be trying to escape something: Dellabrobia wants to escape her marriage with Cub; Hester wants to escape from the pain and guilt of giving up a child for adoption; and Cub wants to escape the oppression he feels from his parents, Bear and Hester. Kingsolver does not stop there: she addresses one of the world’s most controversial topics to date: climate change. Is it real? Is it lies? Kingsolver provides a rich discussion about climate change through a thread that ties her whole book together.

I am a firm believer that climate change is happening, now. We, as inhabitants of this planet need to be doing more to help reverse and slow down these effects. It is great to see popular literature address this issue in such a strong and meaningful way. Kingsolver provides opinions from both sides of the debate and also offers explanations for climate change in very accessible way.

I really recommend this book as a must read not just because of its discussions on climate change, but also because this is a very well written book. Kingsolver has some really great writing in this book. I might even go as far as saying some of her best. The characters are so real and personable that I felt like I was losing a friend when the story ended (Barbara: If you feel like doing a follow up story on Dellarobia then I would totally be okay with that).

I would like to end with a few wonderful quotes from the book. Don’t forget to share, comment, and like!

“You never knew which split second might be the zigzag bolt dividing all that went before from everything that comes next.”

“It was the same dull, stripped ceiling that had been up there last week, last month, forever. Whoever was in charge of the weather had put a recall on blue and nailed up this mess of dirty white sky like a lousy drywall job.”

What literature on climage change are you reading? As always, share the reading love.