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Extended Audio Sample Flight Behavior: A Novel, by Barbara Kingsolver Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Kingsolver Narrator: Barbara Kingsolver Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Having abandoned her dreams when she unintentionally became impregnated at seventeen years old, Dellarobia Turnbow is continuously restless in her life of domesticity on a failing farm.

Now, all that banal living may become much more exciting than what Dellarobia is ready for when she suddenly stumbles upon a scene that shocks her: a wooded valley full of what appears to be a fiery lake.

Her mind cannot grasp this phenomenon outside of a cautionary miracle, but soon she is flooded by a host of explanations from the media, scientists, and religious leaders.

As her community besets her in judgment, Dellarobia must confront her beliefs, and the people of the world, to find the truth.

With dexterity and empathy, author Kingsolver dissects one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change and the beliefs and denials that perpetuate its conflict.

Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 and was raised in both Kentucky and the former Republic of Congo. She was a freelance writer before becoming a novelist. Her work is well known for advocating social change, and it covers topics such as biodiversity, social justice, and the landscape of human and environmental interaction. Her degrees are in ecology and evolutionary biology, which inspired her science writing career. Shortly after winning a story contest in a local paper, she began to write more fiction. Her novel The Poisonwood Bible was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, and each of her novels since 1993 has been on the New York Times best seller list.

Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman’s narrow experience of life is thrown wide open with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel’s inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and listeners alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy, Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kingsolver proves an excellent reader of her own work, perfectly conveying both Dellarobia’s gossipy, accented smalltown neighbors and the distinctive Jamaican accent of intellectual Ovid, the butterfly scientist. … This is a beautifully realized audio version of a compelling and fascinating novel.” Publishers Weekly
  • “[Kingsolver] balances the fictional and scientific characters with her usual skill and performs the audio version with a true feel for the characters and their sense of the butterflies. VERDICT Highly recommended as a timely and informative book on a significant current issue.” Library Journal
  • “Enthralling…Dellarobia is appealingly complex as a smart, curious, warmhearted woman desperate to—no resisting the metaphor here—trade her cocoon for wings.”


  • “A dazzling page-turner.”


  • “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)

  • “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)

  • “May be the first novel to realistically imagine the near-term impact of ‘global weirding’…[Kingsolver’s] 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.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2012
  • Selection for the November 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, November 2012
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • An 2012 Amazon Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Booklist Editors’ Choice Selection for Fiction
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction
  • A #1 San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A 2012 USA Today Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction Finalist
  • One of the 2012 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ellen Taylor | 2/19/2014

    " Even after a careful, slow slog through Barbara Kingsolver's newest novel, I am still not convinced on the global warming issue... Too much science and a preachy tone left me cold on this book; a huge disappointment, since I have been a Kingsolver fan since Bean Trees. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dana | 2/14/2014

    " She always writes such deep books. This one had a little too much scientific info for me,but the comparison of the butterflies to Dellarobia's life were good ones. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Beth Granger | 2/12/2014

    " Whether or not you agree there is global warming, you will find that the author presents the facts of science along with a compelling novel in which the main character begins to find her way in the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sally | 2/7/2014

    " The beginning was slow and somewhat boring. The middle was faster paced and the story line unfolded nicely . I felt the ending was the weakest part. It was like she ran out of steam and just wrote a fast ending. Wanted to know more about some relationships . Good but not great. "

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