Book Review: The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver: Easily one of my favorite books of all time. I read this several years ago at the suggestion of my sister. This book was passed between all of my family members in a short period of time. We couldn’t put it down. Here is a quick description from the authors website:

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.

The story is told through the eyes of wife, Oreanna Price, and her three young daughters. As a seemingly meek character in the beginning, Oreanna follows her husband into West Africa to preach the word of the lord to uninterested Africans suffering through a trying time. The details that Kingsolver put into the surroundings and the people are what really drew me in. I was completely transported to Africa. Reading about the culture and location of this time period was captivating.

Transitioning between all of the characters telling the book is easy to follow, I rarely felt lost as the personalities of each family member is very different. Happily, the book transitions from the daughters at a young age and into adulthood. I love a tale that spans a significant time. It outlines how things that happen at a young age can affect someone years later.

If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it. The father is a bit of a nut job…maybe more than just a bit, and the girls are all so close to my heart. The ending had me so connected to the book, it was no wonder I found my myself thinking about it long after I put it down.


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