Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver is a quiet, subtle kind of novel that worms its way under your skin before you know it. It follows a young mother, Dellarobia, who is coming to the realization that the dreams she had for her future are drifting further and further from her reach as she raises her two children as a quite reluctant stay-at-home mother. As she goes off one day for a tryst with a man she met in town, she is instead confronted by millions of monarch butterflies that seem to have settled down right in her rural Tennessee backyard.
The story quickly becomes one of awakening and passion as Dellarobia comes to realize how serious the predicament of the Monarchs is, and this small-town woman metamorphosizes from a bitter, somewhat small-minded young mother to a champion for the victims of climate change, both human and non-human. Her character development is so honest and relatable that you can’t help but understand not only where she ends up, but where she came from as well.
Flight Behavior is a challenge to anyone who has ever said “I’ll never understand that” or “they could never understand” in a way that diminishes your loyalty to party lines in favor of connecting with people on a more intimate level through love for the world we live in, commitment to improving our communities, and hope for the future.