“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.”
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: 24th September 1998
Rate: 4 stars
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 suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
For the longest time I had wanted to read a Barbara Kingsolver book and I debated a lot on which one to start with, and all the reviews and recommendations I saw, pointed me to The Poisonwood Bible. I don’t regret picking it up.
The Poisonwood Bible is a slow paced, slow burn book that really requires you to pay attention. It’s not the kind of book you dip in and out of, no, Barbara Kingsolver demands your attention and I was happy to give it to her. Barbara Kingsolver’s writing is lyrical yet straightforward. She takes us through 1959 Congo, weaving in a story between the locals and the Price family. It is interesting to see and read how these people interact. This is the kind of book that even the setting, the places, serve as characters.
Barbara Kingsolver explores Religion and culture in this book through the good, the bad and the ugly. The plot follows cultural misunderstanding and conflicts which in some places cause tragedy.
“Even something precious can get shabby in the course of things. Considering what they’re up against here, that might not be such a bad attitude for them to take.”
One thing that had me awed is how Kingsolver managed to tell a story from five different point of views and give such a diverse voice. Even when the name isn’t mentioned I could be able to tell which character is on the page just by the tone. I loved the vivid descriptions and the resounding plot twists. I absolutely loved it.
The Poisonwood Bible is a big book worth every single page. It’s interactive and evocative and will have you glued to the page. I highly recommend it.
Have you read The Poisonwood Bible? What did you think about it?