Thursday, August 15, 2013
Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012: In what may be the first novel to realistically imagine the near-term impact of “global weirding,” Barbara Kingsolver sets her latest story in rural Appalachia . In fictional Feathertown, Tennessee, Dellarobia Turnbow--on the run from her stifling life--charges up the mountain above her husband’s family farm and stumbles onto a “valley of fire” filled with millions of monarch butterflies. This vision is deemed miraculous by the town’s parishioners, then the international media. But when Ovid, a scientist who studies monarch behavior, sets up a lab on the Turnbow farm, he learns that the butterflies’ presence signals systemic disorder--and Dellarobia's in-laws’ logging plans won’t help. Readers who bristle at politics made personal may be turned off by the strength of Kingsolver’s convictions, but she never reduces her characters to mouthpieces, giving equal weight to climate science and human need, to forces both biological and biblical. Her concept of family encompasses all living beings, however ephemeral, and Flight Behavior gracefully, urgently contributes to the dialogue of survival on this swiftly tilting planet. --Mari Malcolm --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Review “Drawing on both her Appalachian roots and her background in biology, Kingsolver delivers a passionate novel on the effects of global warming.” (Booklist, Starred Review) “With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message… a clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review) “…Enthralling…Dellarobia is appealingly complex as a smart, curious, warmhearted woman desperate to-no resisting the metaphor here-trade her cocoon for wings.” (Oprah.com) “A dazzling page-turner” (Elle) “Kingsolver has written one of the more thoughtful novels about the scientific, financial and psychological intricacies of climate change. And her ability to put these silent, breathtakingly beautiful butterflies at the center of this calamitous and noisy debate is nothing short of brilliant.” (Ron Charles, Washington Post) “Dellarobia is a smart, fierce, messy woman, and one can’t help rooting for her to find her wings.” (Entertainment Weekly) “Dellarobia is appealingly complex as a smart, curious, warmhearted woman desperate to-no resisting the metaphor here-trade her cocoon for wings.” (O, the Oprah Magazine) “One of the gifts of a Kingsolver novel is the resplendence of her prose. She takes palpable pleasure in the craft of writing, creating images that stay with the reader long after her story is done…(a) majestic and brave new novel.” (New York Times Book Review) “Kingsolver has constructed a deeply affecting microcosm of a phenomenon that is manifesting in many different tragic ways, in communities and ecosystems all around the globe. This is a fine and complex novel.” (Seattle Times) “So captivating is this grand, suspenseful plot and the many subplots rising and falling beneath it that it takes some time before we realize what this story is really about -- climate change.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) “Spirituality, a troubled marriage, global warming…Kingsolver’s latest is a bold mélange, but it works.” (People) “Kingsolver is a storyteller first and foremost, as sensitive to human interactions and family dynamics as she is to ecological ones.” (NPR) “a delicate symbiosis between the sacred and the scientific in this richly rewarding novel that will both entertain and incite its readers.” (BookPage) “FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is a book worth reading twice? first for the intricacies of character, second for the dense, beautiful language Kingsolver puts on the page. She’s a keen observer of the messiness and unexpected beauty of the quotidian.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) “By the end of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR, it’s clear that Kingsolver’s passionate voice and her ability to portray the fragility of the natural world, and why we should care about it, are as strong as ever.” (San Francisco Chronicle) “Novelists like Kingsolver have a particular knack for making us empathize with lives that may bear little resemblance to our own…What lifts FLIGHT BEHAVIOR…is not just Kingsolver’s nuanced and funny prose; it’s Dellarobia’s awakening to the possibilities around her.” (Julia Ingalls, Salon) “FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is a terrifically entertaining read about a spirited young woman you’ll miss the minute you reach the last page.” (USA Today) “Marvelous…This is fiction rich in empathy, wit and science. Like the butterflies that astonish Feathertown, Kingsolvian gifts are ‘fierce and wondrous,’ ‘colors moving around like fire.’” (New York Times) “[Kingsolver’s] keen grasp of delicate ecosystems-both social and natural-keeps the story convincing and compelling.” (The New Yorker)
We had a full compliment plus the return of Maura Baptist, a former member and dear friend to many of us! Many Congratulations to Jim, Candace, Lori and especially Julie & Midge! I wish we had more time to talk about everyone's accomplishments and milestones but, hey, we will have plenty of time at the next bookclub! We will be returning to a fun retreat at Hill's Resort way up on Priest Lake in North Idaho. It will be a blast! Julie is checking into getting another Murder Mystery game and I am sure other people will come up with fun ideas or activities. It was a great discussion about our two not-dissimilar books about our human societies reactions to the end of technology as we know it! Nothing too scary next time... Great dessert again Jim; many thanks!