The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible

Book - 2013
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"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.
Publisher: London, Faber and Faber,, 2013.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: x, 616 pages ;,20 cm.
Custom Field2: Originally published: New York: HarperCollins, 1998.
Includes bibliographical references.


From Library Staff

A powerful, large-scale saga which follows a family of American missionaries who travel to the Congo in 1959. Set across three decades, 'The Poisonwood Bible' is a little grittier than some of the other classic sagas on this list, offering a moving and detailed exploration of political upheaval, ... Read More »

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Oct 23, 2020

This was just about the most dark, depressing book I have ever read. I kept thinking their life would improve at some point but it just kept getting worse and worse. No happy ending that's for sure. Can't imagine why anyone would enjoy this book.

Aug 11, 2020

My mom, a devout Christian, and my dad an avowed atheist, both claim this book as one of their favorites. I held that comparison in my head as I read this book.

Jul 18, 2020

I listened to the audiobook edition after reading reviews posted on an online book club. It was beautifully written and narrated, the characters and story line developed and held my interest to see what happens to the women through the decades, where they live do they return back to the USA or stay in Africa? Highly recommend.

Jun 27, 2020

Well written about Christian family doing mission in Africa with 4 daughters. Author does a fantastic job developing the characters.

Apr 30, 2020

I read this book because it’s the April selection for my book club. It took a while to get going and it became tedious in spots. I couldn’t quite catch onto the reason for Nathan Price’s obsession with baptism. Apparently, we’re supposed to think he sees it as redemption for his failure to die with the rest of his company on the march from Bataan, being wounded during the landing instead. However, this book did give an interesting view of the revolutionary times in Congo. Like Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, each chapter tells part of the Price family’s tragic story from the named character’s point of view and in that character’s voice. I liked the story, though it was too long in the telling, and I couldn’t see any reason for the obscure final section.

Apr 28, 2020

I did not expect to like this book simply because of the title itself and left it until the last of my 'book supply' to read. It ended up being one of my all time favorites for various reasons, not the least of which were the wonderful descriptions that made you feel you were there. Once I read it through, I immediately read it again. First time I have ever done that.

Jan 16, 2020

A splendid work of artistry about life in Africa through the eyes of the daughters and Mother of their radical 'Bible-thumping' father. He visited a miserable existence upon his family, until finally they were freed of his control. Would recommend this novel to those interested in life n among the Africans.

Jan 06, 2020

I struggled to start this book, only managing one chapter at a time for several weeks. (I think this was more a me thing than the book, though!) But once I was in it, I was in it. The Poisonwood Bible is stunning. The characters were absolutely believable. There were uncountable moments I read and re-read passages that punched me right in the gut. Most of all, this novel skewers colonialism and whiteness perfectly – I'll never stop thinking about this book.

LPL_SarahM Jan 05, 2020

A fascinating story told from the point of view of the women in a family dominated by a male, over-the-top, fire and brimstone preacher who has moved them from the United States to the Congo during a period of great civil unrest and famine. It begins in the late 1950s and spans many decades. Each character has a unique voice as she describes their lives-- each giving a different perspective. This is one I will think about for a while.

May 19, 2019

On second reading, several years later. Read at risk of changing your entire world view and have a good laugh or two and perhaps cry in the process.

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Jun 01, 2015

vv8 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Mee2 Sep 20, 2011

Mee2 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Oct 18, 2017

In Congo, it seems the land owns the people. p 283


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