Clarice's Reviews > The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
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's review
Mar 27, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2008, favorites, on-my-bookshelf-to-keep

I wish I would have had a day or two, to sit down and just devour this book, but instead I had to take it in little snippets each day. Right off from the beginning, we hear from the mother first and these first 8 pages of the book, are some of the most beautiful I have ever read...let me share some of her words...

"Away down below now, single file on the path, comes a woman with four girls in tow, all of them in shirtwaist dresses. Seen from above this way they are pale, doomed blossoms, bound to apeal to your sympathies. Be careful. Later on you'll have to decide what sympathy they deserve. The mother especially--watch how she leads them on, pale-eyed, deliberate. Her dark hair is tied in a ragged lace handkerchief, and her curved jawbone is lit with large, false-pearl earrings, as if these headlamps from another world might show the way. The daughters march behind her, four girls compressed in bodies as tight as bowstrings, each one tensed to fire off a woman's heart on a different path to glory or damnation."

That was just a small portion that sets the stage for the rest of the book. I've gone back and read those first 8 pages over and over again, because they summarize to me what the entire book was about. A mothers struggle for survival with her 4 daughters, when put in a situation she wishes she would have had some power to change. But she was just caught up in the riptide of what Africa was. Great insight into the condition and daily lives of the African people. They live the true "Survivor" story daily.


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Quotes Clarice Liked

Barbara Kingsolver
“Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen. And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver
“I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver
“You see mother, you had no life of your own. They have no idea. One has only a life of one's own.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver
“It lasted just a moment, whatever that is. One held breath? An ant's afternoon? It was brief, I can promise that much, for although it's been many years now since my children ruled my life, a mother recalls the measure of the silences.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver
“Sugar, it's no parade but you'll get down the street one way or another, so you'd just as well throw your shoulders back and pick up the pace.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver
“She is inhumanly alone. And then, all at once, she isn't.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver
“A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after--oh, that' s love by a different name.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Reading Progress

March 27, 2008 – Shelved
November 7, 2008 –
page 306
Started Reading
November 10, 2008 – Shelved as: read-in-2008
November 10, 2008 – Finished Reading
March 16, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
February 3, 2013 – Shelved as: on-my-bookshelf-to-keep

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