I struggled, like the migratory Monarch butterflies at the centre of Barabra Kinsolver’s novel Flight Behaviour, as they battled to stay alive amidst climate change- the key message for readers. Added to this was the issue of logging - clear felling the mountainside of the monarch’s habitat in rural Tennessee, where their migration had landed them instead of going to Mexico.
There was a lot of science about the seasonal lives of monarchs and lambs on the family’s farm, layered with doses of preaching from a bible-centred community, where I became lost in the ramblings of the protagonist, Dellarobia. At odds with everybody in her life, Dellarobia was tediously caught in her own struggle wanting to change her life, with her inner dialogue going round in circles, over and over the same conversations.
Although I found it difficult to relate to the characters and the setting, the author used expressions and descriptions that kept me skimming in and out of the story - It was just too much description of the same environment - an over- load that left me gasping for air..
In my Googling I also discovered a Monarch Butterfly Garden in Perth which advocates the Milkweed species (Asclepias curassavica and Gomphocarpus physocarpus) as the top plant for monarchs, as was the case in Kinsolver’s novel. Buddleia davidii was high on the food list which includes Penta lanceolata and Verbena bonariensis.
I love the scent of the Budleja and now have it planted close to my covered patio…
here endeth my science / gardening lesson for today….and a wee book review..