Dellarobbia, bored with her life, sets off up the mountain behind her house one morning to meet a younger man and start an affair. But as she is walking she encounters a scene of extraordinary beauty: a mass of orange and black monarch butterflies. When the town finds out, people start coming to see them. A scientist sets up shop in the garage at Dellarobbia’s house to study them.
Dellarobbia looks out on the world, discovering her strengths. Ecology and global warming play parts.— Liz Whaley
November 2012 Indie Next List
“Dellarobia Turnbow, who is ready to run away from her unsatisfactory life on a Tennessee farm, comes across a river of flame on the mountain behind her home: millions of Monarch butterflies. The insects, wintering in Appalachia instead of their traditional Mexican grounds, open Dellarobia's circumscribed life, slowly drawing her out into the wider world. Kingsolver's precise prose, deep characters, and provocative questions -- evidence versus faith, duty versus choice, facts versus perception -- will resonate with readers as they contemplate the real world and its global changes.”
— Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY
Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.
Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.