by Barbara Kingsolver - £9.99 Faber and Faber (2013)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780571290802 | ISBN 10: 0571290809
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 has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. She hikes up a mountain road behind her house towards a secret tryst, but instead 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.
The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. 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 towards truth that could undo all she has ever believed.
Flight Behaviour 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.
(Price & availability last checked: February 2020)