The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible

A Novel

Book - 2005
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The family of a Baptist missionary begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives transformed over the course of three decades.
Publisher: New York : HarperPerennial, 2005, c1999
Edition: 1st Harper Perennial modern classics ed
ISBN: 9780060786502
0060786507
Branch Call Number: FICTION KINGSOLVE
Characteristics: x, 546, 18 p. ; 21 cm

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From Library Staff

The family of a Baptist missionary begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives transformed over the course of three decades. I've yet to meet the person who has read and not completely fallen under the spell of this book.

The family of a Baptist missionary begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives transformed over the course of three decades.

A masterpiece! The language! The characters! The setting! The story! The family of a Baptist missionary begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives transformed over the course of three decades.

The family of a Baptist missionary begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives transformed over the course of three decades.


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AL_STEFFEN Jan 09, 2017

This was a really fascinating read for me. Kingsolver's prose was complex and nuanced, thanks to her decision to narrate this book from the POV of four sisters and their mother - reluctant transients to the Belgian Congo in 1960, dragged there by their brutal and pious missionary father/husband.
Here are some details that struck me.
Plain green bushes bursting into riotous bloom and revealing themselves to be Poinsettias.
The sky blue mouth of the Green Mamba.
Congolese children with big bellies appeared that way because of malnutrition, their abdominal walls were undeveloped so their internal organs spilled into their bellies.
Ruthless violence and politics in the pursuit of diamonds.
Orleanna Price walking barefoot on the Georgia coast, gazing across the Atlantic, glaring at and longing for Africa both.

j
joellendavis
Jul 12, 2016

I always recommend this book to others. One of my favorites.

PimaLib_CinthiaT May 11, 2016

I will never get overt this book as long as I live. The impact of this religious man on his missionary family is unforgettable.

QueequegOfSeattle Feb 15, 2016

One of my all-time favorites.

Kereesa Sep 16, 2015

Screw accuracy! Let's all read a romantic version of history filled with white-guilt, strong-not-strong female characters, stereotypes, and a bad guy/good guy narrative. There, don't you feel better?

Okay, okay. In all seriousness this book wasn't terrible. It just pissed me off.

m
mogie
Aug 09, 2015

This book had been repeatedly recommended to me. I don't know why. This book was terrible exept for the last 200 pages and even then it wasn't worth the read for the ending. I skimmed a lot of this book. I didn't like the writing style. Couldn't stand any of the characters and the plot dragged.

o
olemissann
Jan 13, 2015

Captivating book about the Congo, an American Missionary Family, and how lives can be changed with each decision made. The story is presented by the four daughters and their mother. It is not a fast or easy read, but it is one you will not soon forget because of the symbolism, beautiful descriptions, and wisdom scattered throughout the book.

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 25, 2014

A departure from her more familiar Southwest settings, Kingsolver takes us to the Africa of 1959 which we see through the eyes of four missionary daughters and their mother. Each voice is clear and consistent with its unique look at daily survival in a remote village in the Congo: the jungle, the people, beliefs, traditions, sowing and reaping and the drums bringing politics from beyond their small world. The reader is mesmerized by the enormous effect over the next decades of their brief years together in the overwhelming presence that is Africa.

lbarkema Aug 01, 2014

This was so well written and a vivid portrait of colonial/post-colonial Africa. I am giving it 4.5 and not 5 full stars only because the last 1/4 was a bit slower for me and I guess I just wanted to know more about the years in between instead of skipping ahead 5 years, and then 10 years, and so on. But really this was engaging, beautiful, terrible, frustrating (I'm not sure I have loathed a character more than Nathaniel Price-except maybe Holden Caulfield), and such a worthwhile read. I am always interested in learning more about the history of the African continent and this just spurs my interest even more! I may have to add some books on the history of the Congo. I highly recommend this book.

l
lukasevansherman
May 19, 2014

"You can't just sashay into the jungle aiming to change it all over to the Christian style, without expecting the jungle to change you right back."
A sprawling, absorbing and ambitious novel about family, God, Africa, politics and imperialism that manages to handle big themes with wit and subtlety. Should've won the Pulitzer.

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