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Paperback The Poisonwood Bible Book

ISBN: 0060930535

ISBN13: 9780060930530

The Poisonwood Bible

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

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 -- the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium and its devastating consequences -- here is New York Times-bestselling...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Wow. Not necessarily in a good way.

Positives: Skillfully written by a gifted writer; Format is interesting---five female characters take turns voicing the chapters as story unfolds; Unflinching statement on the sins of colonialism; Celebrates social and racial enlightenment. Negatives: By second half of the book, the author's unsubtle and unrelenting resentment of paternalism, evangelical Christianity, American patriotism and racial whiteness is tiresome and frankly offensive; Narrating characters become moralizing mouthpieces. Whipping boy and one dimensional villain (hyper-zealous, culturally obtuse white American Christian missionary, husband and father Nathan Price) is allowed no voice and no growth. The wrap: Started as a well written, thought provoking, thematically challenging book. Ended poorly as a moral club used to beat the unsuspecting reader senseless.

Powerful and compelling!

Barbara Kingsolver is undoubtedly one of the most gifted contemporary novelists. She has the ability to draw her readers into her books in such a fashion that they will believe they are a part of them. The Poisonwood Bible is one of the most powerful books I have read in the last decade. It became an exotic journey for me to travel into an unknown land containing unknown beauty and horror. As in both of the books I have read by her, she draws upon her background in biology so that you will feel as if you are witnessing nature firsthand. The story is not for the faint of heart. It is heart-wrenching at points. Yet it is a story of the strength of the human spirit. As the author of a series of spiritual novels, [...], I especially appreciated this. Any book that can get a person in touch with one's heart and soul is so important in this often divisive and violent world in which we live. This book will definitely do it for you! I highly recommend it. Davis Aujourd'hui, author of "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude"

One of the Few Finest American Novels

This is a superbly lyrical, multifaceted, psychologically and sociologically astute masterwork treating a white Christian missionary family's awkwardly tragic attempt to evangelize part of black Africa. Maybe part of my high appreciation for this novel derives from my wife's and my Christian missionary years as well as my later chairmanship of a large African languages department in the Washington DC area. Kingsolver's academic background in biology allows her to describe African flora and fauna with graceful power. Her descriptions of intercultural-understnding ineptitude, of political and economic upheavals, of rapidly shifting economic actions and reactions, are amazing. Here is just one example of her ability to reach depths of insight with quite simple words: "That's where I was cast ashore, on the riptide of my husband's ambition and the undertow of my children's needs." I think women find this book fascinating because the story is told, each chapter in the voice of one of the females: the mother, then one of her daughters, then another daughter, then another, and so on, each chapter carrying the vocabulary and language style of its author. Because of the variety of ages represented by the five females, five different viewpoints carry the story along. The preacher-husband, though a principal character, never writes or speaks -- he is only described by each of the five females. I find that I recommend this book more often than any other novel I've ever read.

Kingsolver is amazing!

I was already a big Kingsolver fan, and this one goes on my list of all-time favorite books. She constructs complex stories with lots of history lessons thrown in, then writes so beautifully I have to reread out loud many passages, paragraphs and ideas.
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