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Extended Audio Sample Flight Behavior: A Novel Audiobook, by Barbara Kingsolver Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.77 out of 53.77 out of 53.77 out of 53.77 out of 53.77 out of 5 3.77 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Kingsolver Narrator: Barbara Kingsolver Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9780062124319
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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

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

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea G-DaS | 1/26/2014

    " I just loved this book. A well written story with lots of interesting and easily digestible facts on environmental changes and kingbilles "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bxrlover | 1/23/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even if it was a bit heavy on the ecology lessons. I found the characters as compelling as Kingsolver characters always are and would like to have gotten to know some of them better. Had the author devoted more time to that as opposed to the science lessons I would have rated this one 5 stars instead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lesley Clark | 1/20/2014

    " Even though I"m not finished yet (almost), and this is a novel, I think it comes at a very opportune time. Just the other night I heard about the decrease in Monarch Butterfly populations! The characters are very different from what I normally read, but that's the beauty of book clubs. This is the first selection of this round in our little 4 person book club. Several of us weren't liking this book at first, but it sort of grows on you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betty | 1/19/2014

    " Global warming is not exactly a topic you would choose to read a novel about- but Barbara Kingsolver has written with sympathy and understanding of the human side of it all, whilst at the same time not shying away from the serious issues. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sma | 1/19/2014

    " I liked it well enough, but I couldn't completely buy some of the narrator's choices (or statements) at times. I had high hopes for the book (I've always been fascinated by the migration of the monarchs and I do like Kingsolver's work), but it was just OK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Greaves | 1/14/2014

    " Great story and wonderful characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JB | 1/5/2014

    " So I usually like Barbara Kingsolver and I was ready to love this book and I liked it. Liked it enough to finish it, but didn't love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 blmagm | 11/1/2013

    " Full of despair, full of hope; heartache and heartease. Kingsolver tells a story well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erinisfantastic | 10/31/2013

    " This is not Barbara Kingsolver's best book. The heroine isn't immediately (or eventually) likable and the setting is bleak and dreary. I didn't find the ending very satisfying either. That said, it's an easy read and wasn't painful to get through! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 10/29/2013

    " Pretty good. Lots of climate change preaching - but interesting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 9/20/2013

    " The themes in this book span through poverty and classicism, religion and science, marriage and heartbreak, and global warming. It is beautiful and difficult and worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Stoll | 9/9/2013

    " I've been waiting awhile for a new novel from Barbara Kingsolver so I was thrilled to find this one. Love how she has so much going on in this book. She brings up a lot of good points regarding climate change and society's attitudes toward complex scientific theories and facts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 8/23/2013

    " Wonderful! Dellarobia is an engaging, endearing character. Love her frank and often humorous look at life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margherita | 8/9/2013

    " Typical Barbara Kinsolver: cerebral, scientific and full of real-world angst. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi Hertzler | 6/7/2013

    " Such a good writer, but the tend towards preachiness lately just gets old. And the story is slow and . . . dare I admit it? I got bored. Almost didn't finish. Liked the character development and the beautiful descriptions, but it just wasn't my favorite. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Ryan-smith | 5/5/2013

    " Loved it! Kingsolver never disappoints! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Su Sawyer | 4/16/2013

    " Covers many important topics of the day from many angles woven into a riveting story beautifully told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 V. | 3/15/2013

    " As a Barbara Kingsolver fan, I have no complaints. The book was wonderful. She does tend to use a similar character in many of her books: strong, intelligent female who is out of sync with her cohort (way smarter, way more astute). But I'm ok with that. Great book, great themes. "

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About the Author
Author Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction include the novels The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible. Translated into nineteen languages, her work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards, including the National Humanities Medal.