This is one of my favorite books. Kingsolver has a rich narrative style and she describes the land the way other writers might describe a fine meal. The cultural and political subtext are intriguing. I highly recommend this book.
This story made me look at the world and other cultures in a way that I never considered. I have a new appreciation for Africa that I never had before. This is possibly the best story I have ever had the privilege of reading.
Don't be mislead by the book description or some of the reviews - this story is not about religion or missionary work. Yes, the missionary father drags his wife and four daughters into the Belgium Congo during a time in history of political upheaval believing he can convert each and every child within the village. This book is insightful, historically revealing, and entertaining as each of the daughters tells her version of events with the voice of their individual personalities.
I read this book when it was first published in 1998 and have just finished re-reading it. It still rates a place as one of my Top 10 favorites. The first chapter is a bit hard to get into so I recommend you come back to it after youve read a few chapters into the book. I won't provide you details of the story as it would spoil the read for you . . . but suffice it to say, you'll laugh out loud, cry, and upon turning the last page realize you might be a better person for reading this book if you reflect on the real message it holds. Worth quoting, "Everything you're sure is right can be wrong in another place."
This book completely took my breath away. The beauty, the tragedy, the people of Africa and how it affected each individual member of this family's life on so many different levels was just so encompassing. I found myself reading and rereading passages just for the beauty of the wording or of the images it conjured up. A definite must read. This is a book that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Super book, vivid writing. About a family that becomes missionaries in Africa. It tells the story from each main character's point of view. One of the most thought provoking books I've read on missionary work- especially for Christians.
Excellent! The first chapter is a bit abstract, but then the book bursts into a story that is overwhelmingly riveting. The author explores sensitive issues of religion, race and politics allowing the reader to see different perspectives of the issues without taking sides. The book will swallow you whole and make you contemplate modern societal norms and values - even if you believe you already know where you stand.
I was leery when I picked up this book, as many of the previous "Oprah's Book Club" selections were not all they were talked up to be. After arriving just one or two chapters into the book, I was truly entralled. It is an amazing and extremely promising read from front to back. I will be sorry to part with it, but it is time. After reading it (at least) 4 times now, I don't think I have missed anything.
This book is probably the most amazing book I have ever read in my life wich is why I just requested it from a memember so I can REread it. It contains humor and grief and happiness and family and Christianity and dysfunction and more all rolled into one. It is simply an amazing read and Barbara Kingsolver is an awesome, amazing writer. You need to read this. It is such an adventure. Wow.
Kingsolver is undoubtedly a fine writer -- her prose is engrossing and often poetic in its beauty. I was just not that crazy about the plot -- it seemed to go on and on and was just not that interesting. The last 100 pages lost my interest and I just kept reading to finish the darn thing. I found the father missionary to be so unfeeling and stupid as to be unbelieveable as a character. I guess some men are that stupid, unrealistic, and uncaring about the safety of their families, and some mothers that cowed, but this man beggared belief, and I got fed up with the mother and four daughters for being so cowed, so willing to put up with his dream of converting those who did not wish to hear his message much less doused in a croc-infested river to be baptized. I enjoyed Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer more. Give it a go and see if you like it more than I did.
i have not read a book this good in a while. i highly recommend it. i was not into it during the first couple of pages, when i got to about page 50 or so, i couldn't put it down. read it within a few weeks of subway and bus rides to and from work. so clever. i can't imagine the extraordinary task of writing this book. written from the point of view of a mother and her four daughters who move to the congo with their husband and father on a mission. history and fiction all wrapped up into a powerful lesson.
I am not a person who normally reads a book more than once, but this was one book that I yearned to pick up again after 10 years.
The Poisonwood Bible is extraordinary. I love the fact that it discusses the hypocracies in religion and how they can be taken to the extreme, yet the women involved never lose their faith, regardless of the hard times they are subjected to. The story shows the true strength of character that is within us all and how we can will ourselves to survice, no matter the circumstances. Yet we are all changed.
This book is a wonderful book to read. Kingsolver writes from the perspective of four different characters and effectively captures the difference in ages and personalities. The story is gripping from the first page. Although the book is long, you will not want to put it down until you are finished reading it.
I enjoyed this book very much, not only as a story but as political and cultural lessons too. Kingsolver does a good job at keeping the story believable through the eyes of the children. I would have given this book 5 stars except I feel that the last couple of chapters were used more as a soapbox, making it feel more like a lecture and less of a work of fiction. I agree with what Kingsolver is trying to express and she presents some views that I have never considered before. This book has change the way that I look at this world as a whole.
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 book was a little hard to get in to. I put it down twice, read something else, and came back to it. I'm so glad I finished it out. It's worth it in the end and really gave me a lot to think about as far as family, what I'd be willing to sacrifice, and my faith.
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.
"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 reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Against this backdrop, Orleanna Price reconstructs the story of her evangelist husband's part in the Western assault on Africa, a tale indelibly darkened by her own losses and unanswerable questions about her own culpability. Also narrating the story, by turns, are her four daughters--the self-centered, teenaged Rachel; shrewd adolescent twins Leah and Adah; and Ruth May, a prescient five-year-old. These sharply observant girls, who arrive in the Congo with racial preconceptions forged in 1950s Georgia, will be marked in surprisingly different ways by their father's intractable mission, and by Africa itself. Ultimately each must strike her own separate path to salvation. Their passionately intertwined stories become a compelling exploration of moral risk and personal responsibility."
This was a book I could not put down. Very fascinating story about a missionary family in the Belgian Congo. It is told in chapters by each individual character's own words and feelings. There are 4 young daughters in the family and they each tell the story through their own eyes. It is also a story of life in the Belgian Congo at a certain time in history, and as usual, Barbara Kingsolver did a masterful storytelling job!
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 againist one of the most dramatic political events of the 20th century.
In 1959,Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist takes his wife and 4 young daughters to the Belgian Congo,a place, he is sure, where they 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 20th century, the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium and its devastating consequences-here is Barbara Kingsolver's beautiful,heartbreaking, and unforgettable epic that chronicles the disintegration of a family and a nation.