Jyl Pattee's Reviews > The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
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's review
Sep 03, 2008

On my nightstand sits a whole library of Barbara Kingsolver's book. I just finished reading one of her pieces of fictional literature, The Poisonwood Bible. I feel like a late bloomer. So many people have recommended it to me over the years, but for whatever reason I just now got around to reading it. Apart from the fact that Kingsolver is simply an amazing author, this book is dynamite for too many reasons to count.

On a basic level, I love how she organized the book in chapters named after each child or parent (but pointedly excludes the father). Her ability to switch tones and personalities within and between chapters is astounding. The use of multiple narrators provides a depth of perspective that, as it were, puts you right in the middle of an American's life in the Congo. And on that note, the thing I liked the most was the subject matter. I have lived in third-world countries and have experienced--either in thought, through action, or through observation--some of what she voices and describes.

Most poignant to me was reading this while on vacation in D.C. The stark contrast between the freedom we enjoy in the US and our over abundance with the Congo's political upheaval and scarce resources shows that there is beauty in all walks of life and you really do have to stand in someone's shoes to understand their perspective.

So now, the question is: What is on my nightstand? All the rest of Kingsolver's books. The day after putting down this one, I ran over to B&N and purchased her entire library and am now starting into The Bean Trees. I am sooooo excited.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Annalisa It's been a few years since I've read this book and I've been thinking I should read it again. Of course I have a whole slew of books on my to-read list (not counting the 10 or 15 on my nightstand). I could relate to the 3rd-world country in her book as well. Personally I think this is her best work.

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