Happy New Year!
I have done a pretty good job of keeping up with book posts this year, and that's really kind of a big deal given that it was a record-breaking reading year. There were 44 of these posts (tho I think I did one combo) for 2012 reading, and that breaks the previous record of 38. I just have one more book to post after this one, and I think I will do that in fairly quick fashion so I can get onto my eagerly anticipated Best Books of the Year post -- though it's always pretty intimidating pulling that all together, and while I know which books are on top, I haven't quite figured out the order.
But first, here's the latest book from an old favorite.
Much like Ian McEwan (my last read/book), Barbara Kingsolver is a
favorite author. I have read a bunch of her books and while perhaps
preferring some of her earlier (and simpler) works, like The Bean Trees,
it is pretty safe to say there has not been a Kingsolver book I have
not liked. No worries, there is not an upcoming "but" here with Flight Behavior, although there is a "that said."
Knocking out the ratings suspense out of the way early, am hedging with 3.5 stars. Quite likely would have rounded-up to 4-stars for most authors (or if I had read it "blind" - not knowing the author), but Kingsolver is one of those authors that I set the bar just a bit higher, so I find myself rounding down to 3 stars.
Going in I knew the novel had something to do with global warming/climate change. Also, knowing Kingsolver's liberal-leaning politics (and that I typically agree with them), I was a little surprised when this opened up as a novel about a woman running away from her husband and two children in rural Appalachia (perhaps, redundant is there non-rural Appalachia??). While this was a nice take on "flight behavior," the novel rather quickly did blossom back into its climate change theme -- at times quite sermon-y, as one would/should expect from Kingsolver -- and I internally joked that the title of the book should be: All You Wanted To Know About Monarch Butterflies (And Were Afraid To Ask).
So again, beautiful writing, lovely and lasting images, and a fascinating exploration of family and our world from Kingsolver. That said, knocking it down for some bloated stretches (scenes, chapters), preachy-ness worn a bit too much on the sleeve, and a protagonist in Dellarobia who seemed a tad too smart/worldly for her position in life (age, geography, etc.).