The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: I bought this knowing absolutely nothing about it except that a lot of people really liked it. Sometimes that’s the best way for me to approach a book. After all, if someone had told me it was about a Baptist preacher and his family doing missionary work in the Congo (now Zaire) in 1960, I probably would have passed it by. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because it’s is so much more than that. Told in alternating narratives between the preacher’s wife and their four daughters – snooty Rachel, overeager Leah, cynical Adah, and brutally honest Ruth May – the story unfolds to reveal their individual perceptions and prejudices. Though there is some political discussion (the history of that area is pretty turbulent in places). it is presented in such a way that it comes across as the opinions of the characters, as opposed to leaving the reader feeling badgered by the author. Likewise with the frequent thoughts on religion. In short, this is an extremely well-written and engrossing story and I look forward to reading more by Kingsolver in the future.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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