Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Poisonwood Bible

I know this book is different from what I usually would blog about but for my AP Literature class I had to read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver over the summer and after procrastinating for about two months I finally got around to reading it.

Description Provided by Goodreads: The Poisonwood Bible 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. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

(The story of the Price family is fiction but the events that take place in the Congo are very real)

Story Line: The story was told in five different perspectives but mostly focused on the daughters' points of view. I enjoyed the different vantage points because it gave me a great insight into what was going on and how everybody handled things differently. The story line was definitely unpredictable, especially near the end. I found that Adah's point of view was the most unique because of the diction used in it, sometimes things were not directly stated, but rather they were implied. However, I found Rachel's point of view, while in the Congo, the interesting because I found it to be the most relatable. I mean if you stick me in the Congo jungle with my family and no modern technology or cities, I would rant and throw fits too. As the story line progresses we see different sides of the characters, especially the father. At the beginning he is painted as a flawless and holy man but near the end we start to see that he is anything but.

Characters: I found Rachel, the eldest daughter, to be to most relatable, as mentioned about. I enjoyed reading about Adah's transformation and about how she always felt left behind because of her disability. I found that for a while I could relate to Leah, the twin of Adah, because I believe in justice and I used to try and make my father proud and be under his good graces, without him ever really taking notice. However, I enjoyed the refreshing point of view of Ruth May. She's the youngest of all the sisters and is curious about everything, I didn't like how her story ended because I really liked her character. At first I didn't like the character of the mother, Orleanna, because she was weak and didn't stand up for herself or her children. As the story progress, however, we start to see her change and not until tragedy strikes does she finally, as I would say, 'put some pants on'.

Overall: The beginning and the end of this book were not the best and I think some extra information could have been eliminated, seeing as how the book is over 500 pages. In my opinion the books was the most interesting in the middle, when all the action was happening. I would  recommend it because it really gets you thinking about how you would behave if you were in their situation but at the same time I wouldn't recommend it because the beginning and end are dry, uneventful, and in my opinion dragged out.

Rating: Overall I would rank this book a 4.

About the Author:
Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955, and grew up in rural Kentucky. She earned degrees in biology from DePauw University and the University of Arizona, and has worked as a freelance writer and author since 1985. At various times in her adult life she has lived in England, France, and the Canary Islands, and has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South America. She spent two decades in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to southwestern Virginia where she currently resides. Kingsolver was named one the most important writers of the 20th Century by Writers Digest. In 2000 she received the National Humanities Medal, the country’s highest honor for service through the arts.

No comments:

Post a Comment