Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver

Synopsis - 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, this is the story of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in post-colonial Africa. 

Review - What I like about Barbara Kingsolver's books is her writing and storytelling.  Her descriptive narrative flows and she delves into her characters and their settings.  Not only do you learn the family history but also the history of the country where the book is set .  I found the subject quite difficult as I find stories concerning devout religion where it ends in family hardship quite distressing to read.  Nathan Price for all his devout, Baptist evangelism does not live his life as a true Christian.  He is extremely hard on his family, believes his word is the word of God and does not listen.  Therefore he leads his family into difficulties, danger and poverty without a thought.  Orleanna, the mother has a tough time learning the ways of the Congolese, bringing up her daughters, trying to keep them from danger while her husband goes out preaching and comes home expecting to be waited on hand and foot.
We are given to understand that Nathan has changed on his return from the war and perhaps it is the fact he has seen and lived through terrible things that makes him so devout.  4*

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