Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver

Four stars, read November/December 2012.

It didn’t quite suck me in the way The Poisonwood Bible and The Lacuna did, but Flight Behavior is beautiful and I loved the book. As always, Barbara Kingsolver is piercingly insightful about human nature, and quietly brilliant at expressing the miraculous and terrible wonder of the earth.

Everything about this book is simultaneously abstract and physical, larger than life and as small as a sweater that’s buttoned the wrong way. It’s about Dellarobia’s painfully tiny world, with its secondhand stores and ugly swan planters and macaroni and cheese. But it’s about human growth, too, and fear and confinement and learning to choose instead of just coasting. It’s about the relationship between species and their habitats—monarch butterflies and their migratory paths, human beings and the world.

This book is probably not for everyone, because it’s deeply introspective and the action is slow and quiet. But if you’ve liked any of her other books, there’s a good chance you’ll love it as I did.

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