The Poisonwood Bible Author:Barbara Kingsolver In 1959, Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist, takes his four young daughters, his wife, and his mission to the Belgian Congo -- a place, he is sure, where he can save needy souls. But the seeds they plant bloom in tragic ways within this complex culture. Set against one of the most dramatic political events of the twentieth century -- th... more »e Congo's fight for independence from Belgium and its devastating consequences -- here is New York Times-bestselling author Barbara Kingslover's beautiful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable epic that chronicles the disintegration of family and a nation.« less
Primo selection for long plane flights; Kingsolver gets off to a slow start; you have to get into it about 50 pages, and then you are hooked. Each character seems normal and eventually is revealed for the bizarre creature he or she actually is. Gradually sensing and "watching" this family crack up in the middle of Africa is hilarious and deep.The character of Nathan is rich--he just can't "get" why the indigenous people do NOT want, or need his religion. Once he realizes this truth, his mind slowly sizzles to a snap , and his family merrily rolls along.
I found this book enjoyable, if not extraordinary. The story of an eccentric Southern minister out to save souls by dragging his wife and daughters to the Congo in the turbulent 1960's.
The multiple perspectives created a complex web of truths that could not have been discerned if the author had chosen to tell the story from one character. While that was a definite positive, I did find some of the character's perspectives to be tiring and struggled to get through their chapters. The political overtones balanced well with the colorful personal struggles of each of the daughters. Overall it was a very good book, but I had to make myself get through the last quarter or so. It would have benefited from being about 100 pages shorter.
This is my all time favorite book. I've read it twice and it enjoyed it both times. The characters are well developed and I loved the way she wrote in five separate voices. This is one of the few books that sparked a long and involved discussion in my book club and though some liked it and others didn't, everyone was moved by it.
This is without a doubt one of the best fictional works I've read in some time. It is done from a unique and multiple narrative perspective. I grabs your heart from the first few chapters till the very last, will hold your attention and thoughts for quite some time.
A book written from 5 points of view? musing on word families in african languages? evaluating ancient cultural customs from a 1960's southern baptist perspective? telling the history of an African (euro-african?) nation from the inside out?
Fantastic!! This book has well-conceived characters with unique differences that anyone with a sibling will appreciate, and its setting in Zaire in the 1960's walks you through the tumultuous events that shaped Africa into what it is today. Read this book if you loved the movie "Blood Diamond." My favorite quote: "No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill."(pg 528)
A perfect read if you enjoy an intense, thought-provoking book.
This is a wonderful book! It is a clear representation of the destruction of a family which probably never should have been created to start with. Very well written and very engaging. I enjoyed the book very much.
I have never had much interest in African history, but this book made me want to find out more. Her characters, as in her earlier books, are very well realized and fascinating. The story begins with the arrival in the Belgian Congo of Nathan Price, fire and brimstone Baptist preacher, and his reluctant family. The family's story is told by Nathan's wife, Orleanna, and their five daughters - shallow teen-age Rachel, twins Leah and Adah, and five-year-old Ruth May. The voices of the characters are authentic and believable.
I was absolutely spellbound by the way the voices changed and the way they stayed the same from the first to the last of the book. One believes in the characters, they change and grow as the book progresses.
I felt very complete when I finished the book. It was a satisfying experience.
This is a tale of a blindly driven missionary and his diverse, unwilling family thrust deep into the Congo and subsequently abandoned by what they see as civilization. It is deep, important, well-researched, and the characters strike uncomfortably close to home. I think I liked this book LESS because the wholly realistic characters were so much like people I know.
This is on my top 10 list of all-time best books I've read. I've bought at least five copies in my life specifically to give away. The characters, the plot, the settings are all so haunting that images from the book drift into my mind years later.
It's a story of a young missionary and his family who go to the war-torn Congo thinking that they can change it and end up themselves profoundly and irrevocably changed by the experience. It's hysterically funny and devastatingly tragic and thoroughly fascinating. I can't recommend it enough.
This story, told from the P.O.V. of a young girl raised in a religious fanatic home is beautifully written. She is uprooted from her "normal" life and taken to Africa. Life changes instantly, maturity comes slowly - and at great price. Grace under life pressure doesn't really sum it up well - maybe gracelessness under insanity. The mood is serious, but you must smile with her through her life.
Written in the voices of each of the primary characters, this novel reaches into your gut and grabs you. Ms. Kingsolver allows each of her wounded women to tell her heart-wrenching story, and that of Africa, without judgement - that's for the reader to render. To be sure, not one of the women, the mother and her daughters, was left unchanged by the experiences in the Congo. A rich tale that both informs and entertains. Ms. Kingsolver spares no detail in describing the horrific conditions that were (and to great extent still are) the norm in the Congo. The novel is part horror story and part love story. I highly recommend this engrossing tale.
Wonderful book...Excellent story that will stay with you long after you finish the book. Kingsolver is truly an artist - she crafts a story with an unparalleled use of language and imagery. A MUST read!
Characters jump off the page. Descriptions of Africa and the people that inhabit this country portrays the extreme poverty, sadness but the amazing resilience of those who live and love this country. A novel that reads like a journal that you don't want to put down.
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it--from garden seeds to Scripture--is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruciton over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.