Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. Wow. What to say. The best thing and the worst thing this book did was shed light on the decline of the monarch butterfly. Some parts of the book were almost too hard to read because you get all warm and fuzzy about these brave little bugs who fly all over the continent and then you find out they might not exist in a few years…or tomorrow. The book goes way beyond just the butterflies’ extinction – mankind and everything as we know it. I bet those cockroaches will be fine though. Crazy cockroaches.
This book is, however, fiction. The story and butterflies revolve around a woman who is in her late twenties. She has two kids who keep her busy and a husband she married in her teens. Dellarobia, her name (which I say over and over in my head because it sounds so wonderful), is feeling lost, unfamiliar and ready to give up on her life. This makes her sound weak but she’s not. One special day her life of feeling invisible is forever changed…but I don’t want to ruin anything here.
I’ve read a few Barbara Kingsolver books before and, if I remember correctly, a couple of her leading ladies have had the same sort of character story – lost, hating oneself and previous life choices, intelligent but didn’t know it, angry, disconnected from nature. She often meets a man who is strong, self-reliant, smart and connected to nature. What I adore the most about these women in Barbara Kingsolver’s books is their heroic journey to find their true selves. The women realize they are important, which is what each and every one of us needs to be reminded of or even told for the first time.
The book touches on many different important social and economic issues and stereotypes. I like reading a book that makes you think about yourself and choices you’ve made, judgements you’ve made and the impact you make without realizing it.
In summary, it’s a great novel that I enjoyed reading – I know so much about the monarch butterfly right now. I fell in love with Barbara Kingsolver when I read The Poisonwood Bible so I went into this book knowing we already bonded.
And that’s in my uneducated opinion.