The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is a beautiful and immersive classic by Kingsolver. Set in the Belgian Congo in 1959 revolution is on the doorstep and an evangelical minister, his wife and four daughters move to a mission. They equip themselves with what they can carry and stuff in their pockets but soon find life is much more complex in Africa than they ever expected.

I found this an easy read despite it’s size. The language was stunning and indulgent. Something you can sink your teeth into and savour. It’s amazing how Kingsolver is able to write five incredibly unique and equally compelling voices. Adah was my favourite with her fun and quirky perception. Her voice was so different, so unique you couldn’t help but fall into her mind and not want to let go. Rachel was a close second favourite purely for how ridiculous her character was. Easily the highlight of the novel behind the prose is the delectable characters.

If I had to describe this novel in short it would be Little Women set in Congo during their revolution. Except that the characters are comical parodies of Alcott’s angelic March sisters, instead the Price sisters are much more flawed and realistic characters. Well written and with just the right amount of pacing, I can see why this is s modern classic. The Poisonwood Bible is a perfect exploration of colonial life and what it is to be a stranger unwanted in a harsh country and is well worth a read.

4 thoughts on “The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

  1. Ha! I love your description of this as Little Women in the Congo. Very apt. I was also blown away by the prose, but remember feeling that the story didn’t quite live up to the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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