The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible

A Novel

eBook - 2007
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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.
Published: Pymble, NSW ; New York : HarperCollins e-books, 2007.
ISBN: 9780061804816
0061804819
9780061436758
0061436755
9780061436741
0061436747
Branch Call Number: DOWNLOADABLE EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource.

Opinion

From Library Staff

You need to know what other people are hearing as much as what you are saying. Communication is tricky.

Context is everything. “Everything you're sure is right can be wrong in another place."

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.


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n
NedSu
Jul 08, 2018

I've just read this novel for the 4th or 5th time. Most of us have novels that we love and re-read, and this is the one for me. I cannot tell you why it strikes such a chord for me, or how it gives me a different point of view as I age. Suffice it to say that I hope to read it again in a couple of years.

I see it now as a very human retelling of the fight for the Belgian Congo/Zaïre that has been verified by open record about the CIA involvement in forming the region without regard to such democratic ideas as freedom of speech and honoring elections. This all takes place in the background of an entrancing story of how Africa changed five white females.

Kingsolver's narrative is spliced together from the distinctive musings of 4 sisters and their mother. Each style and character remains consistent as time progresses over some 30 years. The changes that occur are logical extensions of their personality. Almost nothing in the novel is filler- each incident or observation lends itself to the plot. It remains for me the best of Kingsolver's work, and she has written several excellent ones.

l
Linyarai
Jun 20, 2018

I read this for the "a book set in Africa" part of my 2018 reading challenge. Based on the other reviews, I didn't find it as gripping as I had expected, but it was enlightening.

l
lucygusy
Mar 08, 2018

A great read!

b
behere
Oct 18, 2017

Kingsolver describes clothing and hobbies, embroidery, hope chests, etc. for the time period spot on.
A sad and so often true depiction of how missionaries try to impose their own culture on the people they profess to want to help. On a personal note, I observed an uncle doing this in Fiji and Palau. In the 1950s, he was a missionary in Hawaii and a cousin of mine died there. So, this book really resonates with me.

ArapahoeSteffen Jan 09, 2017

This was a really fascinating read for me. Kingsolver's prose was complex and nuanced, thanks to her decision to narrate this book from the POV of four sisters and their mother - reluctant transients to the Belgian Congo in 1960, dragged there by their brutal and pious missionary father/husband.
Here are some details that struck me.
Plain green bushes bursting into riotous bloom and revealing themselves to be Poinsettias.
The sky blue mouth of the Green Mamba.
Congolese children with big bellies appeared that way because of malnutrition, their abdominal walls were undeveloped so their internal organs spilled into their bellies.
Ruthless violence and politics in the pursuit of diamonds.
Orleanna Price walking barefoot on the Georgia coast, gazing across the Atlantic, glaring at and longing for Africa both.

j
joellendavis
Jul 12, 2016

I always recommend this book to others. One of my favorites.

p
PimaLib_CinthiaT
May 11, 2016

I will never get overt this book as long as I live. The impact of this religious man on his missionary family is unforgettable.

Kereesa Sep 16, 2015

Screw accuracy! Let's all read a romantic version of history filled with white-guilt, strong-not-strong female characters, stereotypes, and a bad guy/good guy narrative. There, don't you feel better?

Okay, okay. In all seriousness this book wasn't terrible. It just pissed me off.

m
mogie
Aug 09, 2015

This book had been repeatedly recommended to me. I don't know why. This book was terrible exept for the last 200 pages and even then it wasn't worth the read for the ending. I skimmed a lot of this book. I didn't like the writing style. Couldn't stand any of the characters and the plot dragged.

o
olemissann
Jan 13, 2015

Captivating book about the Congo, an American Missionary Family, and how lives can be changed with each decision made. The story is presented by the four daughters and their mother. It is not a fast or easy read, but it is one you will not soon forget because of the symbolism, beautiful descriptions, and wisdom scattered throughout the book.

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vv8
Jun 01, 2015

vv8 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Mee2 Sep 20, 2011

Mee2 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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behere
Oct 18, 2017

In Congo, it seems the land owns the people. p 283

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