Book Banter: The Poisonwood Bible

Poisonwood_BibleTitle: The Poisonwood Bible

Author: Barbara Kingsolver

Length: 543 pages

Genre: literary fiction

Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: personal collection

Plot Basics: In 1959, evangelistic Baptist minister Nathan Price moves his family to the Congo for a year on the mission field. Once there, the family of four very different daughters and their mother discover that nothing they know translates correctly to Africa, including the Word of God they are trying to spread. As revolution sweeps the African heartland, the family …

Bethany’s Banter: This book is good, but sometimes life and books just don’t line up well. In January, I read “The Brothers Karamazov,” a weighty book about family and guilt. Turns out, The Poisonwood Bible is about a lot of those same things. Late January/early February brought some personal, family stuff needing dealt with and combined, Poisonwood was just too much.

Kingsolver wrote a lot of really beautiful sentences, but I wasn’t in a reading place where I could really appreciate them. I could see what she was doing, saw the symbolism and the foreshadowing. But as a reader, I was really craving a different kind of story. I stuck with Poisonwood because it was for book club, but as a fiction reader, it left me parched and thirsting for something else.

Word Nerd Recommendation: You might like this book. A lot of people do. I think it didn’t click for me because of timing.


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