Review - Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

When you pick up Barbara Kingsolver, she's hard to put down. Flight Behaviour takes you on a journey deep into red-neck United States with one of the book's characters Juliet telling us “The key thing' to consider is that ...once you talking identity, you can't just lecture that out of people. The condescension of outsiders won't diminish it.'  At a time when identity politics is back in vogue from Nkandla to New Delhi to New York, this is such a powerful reminder that to simply scorn those who reach for the protective cover of identity is hardly the way to open up debate but rather only serves to harden lines. Kingsolver though is not intent on preaching but flying you to new ways of seeing old phenomena. There is the pressing of the extended family, the Church that takes a leaf out of the Corinthians 'Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ', the wanderlust of a shot-gun bride and fluttering in-between the main characters butterflies. As the butterflies migrate, Kingsolver shows us in these lockdown times, how to take flight by staying in place.

Jo Rushby; former flight attendant, now practising to be a butterfly.