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2018-01-20, 18:22

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver review

"Barbara Kingsolver's climate change tale is urgent and masterly." - The Guardian

This novel is captivating for its imagery of butterflies! It's a must read for those interested in the contemporary American class system, climate change, ecology and human behaviour. 

The novel is about a poorly educated wife,  Dellarobia, living in modern day rural America. She is driven by her desires, such as cigarettes and an affair. These selfish desires become irrelevant once she realises she is has a purpose to live up to, which is to Help the monarch butterflies. 

Despite the growing scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is occurring, irreversibly affecting the Earth’s climate, attributing inevitable threats to global security and poverty levels, denial of climate change along with the spreading of its misinformation is prevalent. In Flight Behaviour, Kingsolver is dedicated to highlighting one of humanity’s greatest failures, the breakdown of communication with each other:

 “There were two worlds here, behaving as if their own was all that mattered. With such reluctance to converse, one with the other. Practically without a common language” (p. 209).

Kingsolver manages to grasp the biggest and most urgent problems facing our times, and achieves a cohesive argument for better communication amongst individuals with conflicting belief systems as a response to climate change denial, all while creating a pleasurable drama. Kingsolver demonstrates the connections between class and climate, reflected by two working class families struggling with catastrophic effects of climate change, which span across continents. Kingsolver enlightens readers with her use of fiction as a medium to communicate science, imagine possibilities, and stress issues that affect contemporary society, such as corporate power and media censorship.

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