Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist minister who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. Soon after arriving they discovered that what supplies they brought from home will not last long in the Congo. As they try to convert the men, women and children of the village they meet much resistance because of the villagers long held beliefs in nature and their own gods. However, they are prepared to help the family survive their surroundings with meal preparations, food supplies, and planting of crops despite not accepting the Baptist religion.

This story can be quite sad at times when you read of the political warfare going on in Africa at the time and the political games that all the big governments play in trying to secure their "pot of gold" in the Congo's resources, especially the diamond trade.
The Poisonwood Bible spans three generations. The Price family faces many obstacles from the death of one of the children, to one daughter's refusal to leave Africa and marry a much older man, to another daughter's illness that forced her to stay behind and then decide not to return to the United States, and then the mother's return to the United States leaving her husband to remain in the Congo.
Although a long story, it is well worth reading and you may decide you can't put this book down until the last page has been turned.

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