Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood BibleThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had heard many times over what a wonderful book this was and it lived up to every word and more. Told by a mother and her 4 daughters, it chronicles their time spent as missionaries in the Congo, beginning in 1959 and the subsequent courses their lives follow after the experience.

Just the idea of a baptist minister from Georgia moving his wife and 4 girls to post-colonial Africa in 1959 is enough to catch your attention and it never stops there. Each character tells parts of the story from her point of view, complete with different manners of speach, gramatical, spelling and pronunciation errors and varying degrees of thought, caring and knowledge.

The differences in the characters, and how well they develop and share their lives with us, is the key to this book. Rachel is the oldest, and the most materialistic of the bunch. Leah and Adah are twins who could not be more different: Adah is the underdog, the disabled child, who is free with her thoughts because no one acknowledges that she has them while Leah is the model child, following in her father's theological path and must learn from her experiences to be free to think. Ruth Ann is the baby, the always impressionable youngest who is smart as a whip and quite impressioning herself. Together this group of girls brings you to a world that you could never imagine, and honestly don't want to. You love some, you hate some, you are indifferent to some, but everyone you meet throughough this story is memorable enough that you can at look back and know at least how you felt about them.

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