Review: Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

At the end of the old year, running into the arms of the new, here is a book that will make your heart flutter.

Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behaviour is a wonderful book: warm and humorous, yet simultaneously serious and thoughtful, it is about how we come to terms with a terrifying unknown future of changing climate and nature off kilter - by working together, talking, taking practical steps, by small actions, by setting about trying to see and understand so that we can do what might be needed. This is a tale of a moment of epiphany and its gradual aftermath; one minute the main character is looking for a way out of the humdrum and the next, she gets more than she bargained for. Having been making ends meet on the lower slopes of an Applachian mountainside, a momentous experience leads her to examine her old life and see her children and relationships in a different light. At a juncture in life when she was frustrated and yet open to something new, she finds the change she wanted and needed lie in a deeper understanding of her own surroundings. Her moment of awakening is, of course, the one we may desire, need and fear, the one that will allow us to see ourselves as we really are - as part of nature - and, at a time when the way we live and use the planet is pushing nature out of joint, show us other possible ways of being.

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