Flight Behaviour

by Barbara Kingsolver

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidently 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 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.

Barbara Kingsolver’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has earned a devoted readership. In 2010 she won the Orange Prize for Fiction for The Lacuna. Before she made her living as a writer, Kingsolver earned degrees in biology and worked as a scientist. She now lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.