This is a story 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.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Oprah Book Club® Selection, June 2000: As any reader of The Mosquito Coast knows, men who drag their families to far-off climes in pursuit of an Idea seldom come to any good, while those familiar with At Play in the Fields of the Lord or Kalimantaan understand that the minute a missionary sets foot on the fictional stage, all hell is about to break loose. So when Barbara Kingsolver sends missionary Nathan Price along with his wife and four daughters off to Africa in The Poisonwood Bible, you can be sure that salvation is the one thing they're not likely to find. The year is 1959 and the place is the Belgian Congo. Nathan, a Baptist preacher, has come to spread the Word in a remote village reachable only by airplane. To say that he and his family are woefully unprepared would be an understatement: "We came from Bethlehem, Georgia, bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle," says Leah, one of Nathan's daughters. But of course it isn't long before they discover that the tremendous humidity has rendered the mixes unusable, their clothes are unsuitable, and they've arrived in the middle of political upheaval as the Congolese seek to wrest independence from Belgium. In addition to poisonous snakes, dangerous animals, and the hostility of the villagers to Nathan's fiery take-no-prisoners brand of Christianity, there are also rebels in the jungle and the threat of war in the air. Could things get any worse?
In fact they can and they do. The first part of The Poisonwood Bible revolves around Nathan's intransigent, bullying personality and his effect on both his family and the village they have come to. As political instability grows in the Congo, so does the local witch doctor's animus toward the Prices, and both seem to converge with tragic consequences about halfway through the novel. From that point on, the family is dispersed and the novel follows each member's fortune across a span of more than 30 years.
The Poisonwood Bible is arguably Barbara Kingsolver's most ambitious work, and it reveals both her great strengths and her weaknesses. As Nathan Price's wife and daughters tell their stories in alternating chapters, Kingsolver does a good job of differentiating the voices. But at times they can grate--teenage Rachel's tendency towards precious malapropisms is particularly annoying (students practice their "French congregations"; Nathan's refusal to take his family home is a "tapestry of justice"). More problematic is Kingsolver's tendency to wear her politics on her sleeve; this is particularly evident in the second half of the novel, in which she uses her characters as mouthpieces to explicate the complicated and tragic history of the Belgian Congo.
Despite these weaknesses, Kingsolver's fully realized, three-dimensional characters make The Poisonwood Bible compelling, especially in the first half, when Nathan Price is still at the center of the action. And in her treatment of Africa and the Africans she is at her best, exhibiting the acute perception, moral engagement, and lyrical prose that have made her previous novels so successful. --Alix WilberAbout the Author:
Barbara Kingsolver is the bestselling author of the novels, The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven, as well as collected essays, High Tide in Tucson. The Poisonwood Bible was an Oprah Book Club pick. She lives in Arizona.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Faber Faber Inc. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0571197639I5N00
Book Description Faber Faber Inc. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Bookseller Inventory # G0571197639I3N00
Book Description Faber Faber Inc. Paperback. Book Condition: POOR. Acceptable: Possible ex-library copy with the library's markings. May have moderate notes or highlighting. Will no longer have its dust jacket if applicable and accessories may no longer be included. Bookseller Inventory # 2512979871
Book Description Faber Faber Inc 1999-01-09, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. 0571197639. Bookseller Inventory # GHT1443MYGV10012013H8872C
Book Description Faber & Faber, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 3426-9780571197637
Book Description Faber & Faber, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 8765-9780571197637
Book Description Faber and Faber, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001134787
Book Description Faber and Faber, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001494826
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Product dispatched in UK within 48 hours. Thanks. Bookseller Inventory # PH18H02VA36244
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Product dispatched in UK within 48 hours. Thanks. Bookseller Inventory # PI07F01VA21159