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The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  

The Poisonwood Bible

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One of Susan Fletcher's favourite books.

A fascinating story told from the perspective of a mother and her four daughters who have been taken to the Congo, by the father of the family, on a mission to bring God to the people there. Politics, religion, feminism….it’s all here as they cope with the extreme differences from Georgia, USA, in a country going through it’s own political and social upheavals. A thoroughly satisfying read.

March 2010 Guest Editor Susan Fletcher on The Poisonwood Bible...

Kingsolver's novel follows the fortunes of the Price family - a fanatical Baptist preacher from Georgia, his wife and their four daughters - as they go to the Belgian Congo in the late 1950s, as missionaries. It instantly ticks boxes for me, in its poetical language, and in how richly and convincingly Kingsolver portrays the Congo - its heat, noise, smell, discomforts and beauty pour off the pages. But what I was most taken with was how deftly Kingsolver writes as five different people. All four daughters and the mother tell their tales - and every voice is her own. Moreover, I loved the fact that the mother - speaking retrospectively - mentions early on that one of her daughters "remains in the dank red earth." I could not guess which daughter would die, or how. And for all the preparation, when the death came I was genuinely bereft - it's an extraordinarily quiet, painful scene. I see this book as a wonderful example of how to write in many voices.

If you like Barbara Kingsolver you might also like to read books by Louise Erdrich, Kathryn Stockett and Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Synopsis

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible tells the story of an American family in the Congo during a time of tremendous political and social upheaval. The story is 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 all 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. This tale of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against one of history's most dramatic political parables. The Poisonwood Bible dances between the darkly comic human failings and inspiring poetic justices of our times. In a compelling exploration of religion, conscience, imperialist arrogance, and the many paths to redemption, Barbara Kingsolver has written a novel of overwhelming power and passion.

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s thirteen books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction include the novels The Bean Trees and the international bestseller The Poisonwood Bible which, amongst other accolades, won the 2005 Penguin/Orange Reading Group Book of the Year award. Her most recent novel is The Lacuna, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction.

Fellow novelist KERRY REICHS on BARBARA KINGSOLVER

After you read The Bean Trees, you’ll run to the bookstore to buy Pigs in Heaven and Animal Dreams. I snap up Kingsolver’s novels from used bookstores so I have copies at the ready if I meet someone who has not yet had the pleasure. Observant and canny in character, Kingsolver’s women have heart and looking through their eyes opens mine. I read these books with a pen so I can easily return to favorite underlined phrases.

Author photo © David Wood

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Book Info

Publication date

11th April 2013

Author

Barbara Kingsolver

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Author's Website

www.kingsolver.com

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Publisher

Faber and Faber

Format

Paperback
640 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780571339792

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