I love and admire Kingsolver as an author. She had me at The Bean Tree. When I began Flight Progression, I was immediately taken with the names of characters: Dellarobia(I thought of the blue pigment on my water color pallette), Ovid, Byron, Hester, Cordelia, Preston. This is Appalachia. I expected Cub and Bear, short for Burley junior and senior. Of course, Kingsolver addresses these prejudices. Oh yes there's Pastor Ogle which is clearly oggle. Dellarobia points out the high road. There are so many literary allusion, I found myself giggling.
Dovey, Dellarobia's best friend continually texted church marquee signs like "Moses was a basket case." This reminds me of Flannery O'Conner. The jokes were fast and fun.
The butterflies landed near Feathertown. Their nests were draping every tree and millions of monarchs filled the sky making the skeptical Dellarobia believe that she was witnessing a miracle. The day that she delivered a lamb was another miracle. The confidence she developed as she learned from Ovid is another miracle which teacher -readers will be able to relate to.
Kingsolver did a great job showing the city,affluent reader, how the poor and the rural people are conserving and recycling in a much more serious way than those of us who take pride in recycling soda bottles and newspapers.
Dellarobia's personal crisises are many and often analogous to nature: sheep. butterflies, climate control, but sometimes derive from poverty, lack of education,etc.
Kingsolver has such a way with words. I can see Julia Roberts speaking truth about life in the hills. I can hear Sidney Poitier as Ovid Byron. Unfortunately they're too old. Meryl Streep could play Hester. The dialogue is still singing in my ear. We are southerners. We understand that macaroni and cheese is a vegetable." And "Seeing is believing.Refusing to look at the evidence, this is also popular." I've got about 60 high lights.
As I reread my review, I keep thinking the wholis equal to the sum of its parts. In this novel, I think the parts are greater than the whole.