I’m not sure Barbara Kingsolver will ever be able to outdo The Poisonwood Bible. However, Flight Behaviour was a well written novel that dealt with serious issues, this time, climate change. Indeed, I saw a previous reviewer refer to the book as ‘redneck environmentalism’, which is such a perfect description.
Although Kingsolver is a talented writer, it was a slow read for me, hence the 3 star, not 4 star rating. She makes some very important points in the novel - the way green living is really a luxury afforded to the wealthy, the singularity of religious or community beliefs that lead to the absolute dismissal of the realm of science, the hardships of poverty or rural life where daily concerns are no bigger than putting food on the table and finding someone to look after the kids, the struggle between money and environmentalism. I am deeply interested in sustainability and climate change, and this book provided me with a whole new perspective on the approach to people and climate change.
There are always more questions. Science as a process is never complete. It is not a foot race, with a finish line…. People will always be waiting at a particular finish line: journalists with their cameras, impatient crowds eager to call the race, astounded to see the scientists approach, pass the mark, and keep running. It’s a common misunderstanding, he said. They conclude there was no race. As long as we won’t commit to knowing everything, the presumption is we know nothing.”
Amidst the seriousness of the issues at hand, Kingsolver also has a sly, deadpan sense of humour that is incorporated into the prose, which I absolutely love.
Now, see, that’s why you want Internet friends. You can find people just exactly like you. Screw your neighbors and your family, too messy…the trouble is, once you filter out everybody that doesn’t agree with you, all that’s left is maybe this one retired surfer guy living in Idaho.”