bup's Reviews > The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
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Jul 25, 08

bookshelves: 2008, 1001, belong-to-the-land, novel, favorites
Read in July, 2008

Once again I find myself wishing there were a 4.5 star capability.

This book is great - it's an epic statement of common Kingsolver themes, and I see why people call it her masterpiece. Its only problem is it might be a bit too self-consciously great. Kingsolver never shies away from a political message, and there are plenty here. You can't miss them. No matter how hard you tried you couldn't.

I love her writing on the pain of motherhood (reminiscent of "Animal Dreams") and of the earth as the constant. I love the descriptions of Africa. I love how well she portrays the "other side" of the American experience of Africa's modern struggles.

I just worry the book's characters - particularly the 'good' sister and the 'shallow' sister, and their heavy-handed presentation, may leave "Poisonwood" in a generation or so, in the same cultural niche as "Elmer Gantry" or "Uncle Tom's Cabin" - overt moral statements that are products of an age, and don't age well.
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