The Poisonwood Bible
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 sus...more
Popular Answered Questions
* Relativism. I'm sorry, I believe infanticide to be wrong for all cultures, for all times.
* Missionaries, particularly protestant missionaries to Africa were entirely the endeavor of egotistic, abusive, colonialists who were merely out to change Africa into either a western society or an exploitative factory for western society. Wrong again, read Tom Hiney's "On the Missionary Trai ...more
“The forest eats itself and lives forever.”
There is magic in these pages. Not the supernatural kind. Not the magical-realism kind. But magic of language and of the TARDIS kind: by some strange sorcery, many huge themes are thoroughly but lightly explored in single volume that is beautiful, harrowing, exciting, tender, occasionally humorous, and very approachable.
“We messengers of goodwill adrift in a sea of mistaken intentions.”
Freedom and Forgivenes ...more
There's plenty of goodreads reviewers who felt differently, but I found The Poisonwood Bible to be a very strong and very different piece of historical fiction. It's a slower story than I normally like, something you might want to consider before deciding whether to try this 600+ page exploration of colonialism, postcolonialism and postcolonial attitudes, but I very much enjoyed this incredibly detailed portrait of a family and a society set in the Belgian Congo of 1959. And I, unlike some othe ...more
However. The author had an agenda and she really didn't mind continually slapping us in the face with it. Now, I don't pretend the US hasn't made mistakes and won't continue on making mistakes. But to equate one group of peo ...more
I finished the last 300 pages in 2 days (which is very fast for me - English books). I felt every emotion under the sky with this book. I hated Nathan Price, I hated injustice, I hated my uselessness, I hated the fact that there are no good prospects for Africa in the future. As a Geographic major I strongly believe that the closer you are to the Equator, the longer it will remain a 3rd world country. Of course the country itself is full of resources (i ...more
The main things I expect from a good novel are: a) that the writer doesn't manipulate her characters for her agenda, b) that the characters' actions are consistent to the world the writer has created for them, c) good, tight pr ...more
1) you have to suspend great balefuls of disbelief. These kids, they're awfully highfalutin with their fancy flora and fauna and fitful forensi ...more
Having been brought up by ultra-religious Christian parents myself, I found the children's and wife's experience strongly reson ...more
Kingsolver casts a spell with the language she uses to describe three decades in the collective lives of the Price family, beginning with their time as missionaries in the Belgian Congo.
The structure is also a strength. The story is narrated by the mother and daughters of the Price family, each illustrating her perspective of the family chronicle as they experience what would become and what really began as ...more
The Poisonwood Bible is a story of a Baptist preacher Nathan Price who chooses to become a missionary in the Belgian Congo of 1959. Along with his unwavering beliefs and desire to bring salvation and enlightenment to sav ...more
I just finished it today. It is the story of a missionary family's trek to the Congo, told through the eyes of the four daughters and their mother. The father is a misguided preacher who is trying to escape past demons by force-feeding Christ to a culture that he has neither researched nor desires to understand (the ...more
The location is the Congo before and after independence--the plot is about a preacher who treks to the jungle with his family. We end up ...more
I am the oldest sister and a typical teenage girl, oh-jeez-oh-man. All I want is to go back to Georgia and kiss boys outside the soda bar, but instead here I am stuck in the Congo with unconditioned hair and ants and caterpillars and scary-but-with-a-heart-of-gold black people. Jeez Louise, the life of a missionary's daughter. Also I make a whole lot of hilarious Malabarisms, that's just one of the tenants of my faith. There's two of them now! Man oh man.
The other day, Anatole rushed i ...more
The narrative of the Congo was fascinating both historically and anthropologically. At times I felt connected to the collective unconscious. (view spoiler)[ The hunt scene as well as the death of Ruth May come to mind as examples of this. (hide spoiler)]
The individual voices of the Price girls and even less so the Price women (when they grew up)did not ...more
I can't exactly put my finger on what I didn't like. I just know that it felt like it dragged on and on ...more
Told in different voices, of various members of a missionary family in the Congo, it tells of the fanaticism of the Baptist missionary father, and the trials, tribulations, and reachings for life-affirmation of his daughters. (I know that's a pretty awkward sentence - what can I say - like s.penk I'm past-one beer he ...more
The story is about a fanatical Baptist preacher from Georgia who takes his wife and 4 daughters on a Christian mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. If that's
not the perfect recipe for disaster then I haven't seen one.
The history of this part of Africa, especially the political history, is so convolute ...more
Though technically a minor character in the book, patriarch Nathan Price looms large over his small tribe of women. With no regard for the well-being of his family, he drags his wife and four daughters to deepest Africa, because, of course, he is on a mission from God. Pric ...more
What amazes me about this story, is Barbara Kingsolver's ability to write five very distinct, very different characters and give them all a believable voice. The characters were so vivid, real in their flawed insecurities, and so utterly different. I found myself ...more
Kingsolver had a very nice variety of ...more
"Barbara Kingsolver has eloquently crafted a marvel here. In the Poisonwood Bible, she relates the story of fiery, ...more
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