A return to her roots after The Lacuna, this is an absolutely glorious book about butterflies, climate change, families, farming, science and more besides. It’s epic, it’s riveting, if it didn’t use the word “gotten” so much, it would be 5 stars. Full review is here.
Animal Vegetable Miracle is the story of one family’s decision to eat (almost) entirely locally-grown foods for a year after moving to the Appalachians from Arizona. While they make a few exceptions for things like olive oil and coffee, almost all of the food they consume from their own county. Not only that, much of it is grown in their very own backyard. Kingsolver both explores her personal experience with self-sustainable eating habits (killing chickens, growing mountains of zucchini, making homemade cheese) and profiles people that she’s sought out and created relationships with who are doing cool and unique things in the world of locally-based food (an Amish family simply following centuries-old tradition, for example). Kingsolver’s husband and daughter also contribute, in the form of more fact-based sidebars (often highlighting a specific issue, law, or scientific concept that needs more explanation–factory farming, GMOs, etc.) and small sections on seasonal, local recipes and local eating from a younger generation’s perspective.
Read the rest of my review here!
There’s a scene late in Flight Behavior in which a passionate environmentalist tries to help an Appalachian housewife to reduce her carbon footprint.
I come to places like this, instead of Portland or San Francisco. You people need to get on board, the same as everyone else. If not more so.
Provocative, othering words: you people. His intentions are seemingly good and he has a passionate conviction of being right. This man has traveled hundreds of miles to try to effect change. And there is something in that journey that indicates respect. In a time when almost no one even bothers to show up, there’s a certain dignity he’s offering the community here. He came to give them a straight talk about what global warming is and how it might affect them.
A choice: here is information. Will you take it?
Here are things you can do. Will you act?
The disconnect becomes clear when a woman in the community he’s trying to influence tries to listen to what he has to offer, no matter how condescendingly phrased. Continue reading →
I’ve read most of Barbara Kingsolver’s books, so when I saw that she had written a new one, I immediately put a hold on it at the library. I started reading Flight Behavior (2012) with only the general expectations that came from enjoying her previous books and no real knowledge of the plot. And on the whole, I was satisfied. The writing was good, I liked and cared about the characters, and I rushed through to the end to find out what happened to them.
Dellarobia Turnbow is a 27-year-old woman with two children. She was married at 17 to a good, honest man, but probably not the right one for her. She lives a completely secluded life in the Appalachians in Tennessee. Her family lives in a small house built by her overbearing in-laws. She can’t afford a newspaper anymore, the local library has closed down, and her husband even hogs the remote. Her youthful dreams and rebelliousness have been trodden down through years of fighting for the necessities for her family. But her dissatisfaction and misdirected restlessness still remains, and that’s how we find her at the beginning of the novel.
Click here to read the rest of this review on my blog.