Summary: It’s 1959, and the attempted “Christian reformation” of the African Congo is fully underway – at least for the Southern Baptist family of the Reverend Price. As his family moves to the Congo as missionaries, they must face the struggles of poverty, a foreign country, their father’s ineffective ministry, and more. With an unsympathetic, outspoken father; a silenced mother; and four daughters; this family must do all in its power to survive.
Evaluation: I had no idea a faimly could live on so little, transplanted into such a new, different place. That so many families faced the struggles of the Price family. After the first few introductory chapters, Barbara Kingsolver’s writing just draws you in, impossibly closely. I read the last 2/3 of the book in almost one sitting. In all, The Poisonwood Bible is a fascinating – albeit long – read and well worth enjoying.
Summary: The Poisonwood Bible tells the story of the Price family as they travel to Africa on a mission to bring Christianity to the natives. As preacher Nathan Price uproots his family from Georgia and takes them to the Belgian Congo, his wife (Orleanna) and daughters (Rachel, Leah, Adah, and Ruth May) tell the stories of their experiences living and growing up in the village of Kilanga. When political and personal upheavals strike, their shifting narratives detail both a family and country in crisis.
Evaluation: I enjoyed the way Kingsolver shifted perspectives for the various chapters to tell the family’s story from different angles and create a narrative collage for her readers. She excels at crafting characters with distinct voices and personalities. Their stories drew me in, and I found myself eager to read.