Archive for the ‘climate change’ Tag

Looking forward   2 comments

Lydia Millet’s A Children’s Bible is bleak; it’s not for kids. It’s a cross between Bless the Beasts and the Children and The Road; it’s an allegory about climate change.

Ironically-named Eve narrates. On vacation at a lakeside mansion, she’s one of 12 children whose parents pass the time drinking and doing drugs.  The kids have nothing but disdain for the neglectful adults. Instead, they create their own games and adventures, including a camping trip via canoes to the shore.

These are not your average youths. They carefully plan their excursion ensuring they bring the right supplies. They also know that when weather alerts forecast a major storm it’s time to return to the estate.

To their credit, the parents are aware of the approaching tempest, which evolves into a storm of massive proportions. However, once power is lost and food supplies run low, it’s the adolescents who understand it’s time to go. Unable to convince their parents how urgent the situation is, the kids leave them behind.

Tension builds as the children discover their world is now an apocalyptic nightmare.  Although they encounter kindness from some adults, they also face armed men willing to battle for any resources needed to survive.

Eve’s little brother, Jack, has a picture book of Bible stories with many connecting to the dire conditions.

Relying on the younger generation to first recognize the danger caused by the storm and then seek solutions is symbolic given the existing climate crisis.

A Children’s Bible

Almost Four Bookmarks

W.W. Norton, 2020

224 pages

Global Issues and Self-Discovery   Leave a comment

flight

Barbara Kingsolver and Joni Mitchell have a lot in common – at least to me. I’m especially drawn to their early works. They’re prolific and both know the beauty of language. Even though they’re favorites of mine, it doesn’t mean I don’t see their foibles.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve listened to anything by Mitchell, but I did just finish Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior. I pretty much read anything and everything she writes. Unfortunately, it didn’t wow me. It has plenty of descriptive images and the characters are interesting, but the story itself is just too predictable.

Climate change is the driving issue with the theme of understanding the world around us. Dellarobia is a young mother of two in a lackluster marriage. Just as she is about to embark on an affair, she discovers monarch butterflies have blanketed the woods on the family land in rural Tennessee. This introduces her to scientists, the media, family secrets, and herself.

Dellarobia’s an appealing character. She’s a good mother, but isn’t thrilled by being a wife thanks to her easy-going husband, Cub, and his willful, demanding parents. To counter the country folk, Kingsolver brings in the intellectual Ovid Byron, a researcher.

The gist of the story can be found in the first and last chapters. The downside to only turning those pages is that you’d miss the imagery, sarcasm ascribed to some of the characters, and the magic Kingsolver has with words. Then again, you’d get to skip the preachy tone and predictability. It might be time to listen to Joni Mitchell again.

Flight Behavior
Three-and-a-half Bookmarks
HarperCollins 2012
433 pages