Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible- A Novel

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is a story of a family’s journey to the Congo in 1959. The Price family, led by Nathan Price, an overzealous Baptist minister, is determined to bring Christianity to the people of the Congo.

The novel is narrated by the five women of the Price family: Orleanna, Rachel, Leah, Adah, and Ruth May. Through their individual perspectives, the reader is able to gain insight into the cultural arrogance of the West, the power of pantheism as a form of religious faith, the individuality of how to deal with the burden of guilt, and the impossibility of absolute and unambiguous justice on a global scale.

The Price family’s journey to the Congo is filled with tragedy and heartache, but also with moments of joy and hope. As they struggle to make sense of their new home, they come to understand the beauty and complexity of the Congolese culture. In the end, the Price family learns that the only way to truly understand the world is to accept it for what it is and to embrace its diversity.

The Poisonwood Bible is a powerful story of family, faith, and culture. It is a reminder of the importance of understanding and respecting different cultures and beliefs. The book offers readers valuable lessons about the power of love, the importance of forgiveness, and the need to be open to new experiences.

Interesting Themes

  • The Cultural Arrogance of the West.
  • The Individuality of How to Deal with the Burden of Guilt.
  • The Impossibility of Absolute and Unambiguous Justice on a Global Scale.
  • The Power of Love and Forgiveness.
  • The Need to be Open to New Experiences.

What I Liked

The book was engaging and so well written – A++. The setting and characters were all so spot on. She did an incredible job with the setting, plot, and weaving difficult themes and concepts.

I loved it personally because I grew up as a Missionary Kid in a deeply religious subculture. Even though this book is way more extreme than my upbringing, it resonated so much. It’s absolutely worth reading for anyone who was (or is!) in a conservative / fundamentalist background – or grew up overseas. At a minimum, I think coming away with a self-awareness of cultural differences is a worthwhile theme in the book.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing at all – it is pretty intense. And the setting is specific, so I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone. But it is a worthwhile read.

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