I love this book and listening to it as an audio book makes it all the more powerful, Dean Robertson makes sense of the poetic nature of this book and gives life to the characters ... perhaps some people have not enjoyed Dean Robertson, but I can't really make sense of their objections? On the strength of this audio book, I also bought the book for my kindle, so I can savor the beauty of Ms. Kingsolver's wonderful writing, but I have to say, I prefer to listen to Dean Robertson.
I spent a whole weekend listening to this story on my iPod - I couldn't break myself from the journey of the book - transported to the Congo, I lay about, or walked slowing through the Hollywood Hills in a sort of trance, I listened and listened ... so beautiful, so soulful ... the characters and their story moved me greatly, I highly recommend it.
Disappointing. The narrator was very rushed--sentences were read with barely enough time to absorb what Kingsolver was trying to communicate. Too, I think I would have enjoyed it more if the narrator had taken on each character's persona--as if she were playing the parts. Her voice was very monotonous. Because the narrative alternates between the mother and her four daughters, it was often difficult to figure out who was whom, when I had to stop and pick up again. Sometimes by process of elimination it would dawn on me who was talking, otherwise I would have to rewind for some clue. For me, this took away from Kingsolver's descriptive writing. Rachel had a distinctive southern drawl but that was about it. I'd like to listen again with a better narration. For now I really don't know if I enjoyed the story or not!
I have read two other Kingsolver novels (Pigs in Heaven and Prodigal Summer) and enjoyed them very much. This book was no exception. I listened to it during every waking hour straight through until I finished it.
Gripping historical novel about the wife and four daughters of a "Hell and Brimstone" Baptist missionary who takes his family to the Belgian Congo in 1959. Apparently Kingsolver lived in the Congo with her missionary physician father in the early 1960s so there is likely a good bit of authenticity to the descriptions of daily life in the village where the story is set. The book is told from the first person alternately from the view points of the mother and 4 daughters. Good epic tale, lots of socio-political insights. I do not agree with some who did not like the narrator. I feel she made it easier to enjoy the book by giving a unique "voice" to each character's view point.
This was a Oprah book club selection over 10 years ago and I still read it ever summer. You will find yourself feeling the heat of the steamy jungle in this amazing journey of a family on a mission trip to the deep jungle of the Congo in the early 60's. Beautifully told thru the eyes of the mother and each of her daughters, you find yourself feeling part of the family quickly. The question of "how far does a wife and mother go to keep her family together"? My opinion has changed over the years as I find myself older and hopefully wiser for my own family. You will not want to stop listening or for the book to end. Don't forget to share this one with friends and family.
I most enjoy listening to contemporary fiction with well-developed characters.
I read this book and loved it, so I thought I'd refresh my memory by downloading the audiobook. I couldn't make it through the second chapter. The narration is frustratingly fast, leaving no time to digest in between sentences. I kept wanting the narrator to just pause for a half second between sentences, because the writing was sometimes very rich, complex and descriptive, and I had no time to form a picture in my mind of what was described.
Do yourself a big favor and read the text version of this book... it is really worth it!
Kingsolver writes some of the most beautiful prose being created in these times.From descriptions of the primeval African forests to mundane details of home life, she weaves in the political background with wit and compassion, showing how it affects the everyday lives of ordinary people. In the Congo, she let's us see through the eyes of 5 uniquely perceptive women/girls dragged along at the mercy of a horribly insensitive husband intent only on bringing Christ to the dark, ignorant heathens.What first seemed like a total tragedy became a rich, vibrant experience profoundly affecting each ones life, but later included tragedies that were the natural outcome of actions completely beyond their control.
I was irritated by the narrators voice at first, because the rich language seemed distorted coming with a voice and accent like hers. Then, as the story progressed and she got into character with each voice, representing 5 southern, rural females of different ages with a fairly simple-minded upbringing, I started to appreciate the many nuances she brought to the reading.As the mother and daughters struggled in their own ways against the fathers' control and pathetic, single passion which only grew stronger and more fanatical with each stress and failure,their minds and characters developed so they were able to break free of his harsh, neglectful domination to save themselves before he went totally insane.I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and though it was long, was disappointed when it finished.I can hardly wait to read the next one,"Lacuna"!
When this book started I wanted the narrator to slow down. I felt as if it was all being read too fast for me to create the beautiful visuals the writer was creating but once my brain adjusted for the speed I found myself in the congo, totally engrossed. The writers way of writing the continuing story chapter by chapter from each family members experience was unique and worked exceptionally well. I loved this book.
Absolutely one of the best written novels I've read in a long time. The author takes you to the Congo and you experience the jungle with her. The story is so unexpected and pulls you in. I loved every minute of it. The narrator was perfect for this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is told from the perspective of five different women and I found that the changes in perspective kept the narration fresh. In the story it was interesting to see how the women reacted differently to the challenges put before them and how each character reacted differently to the same stimulus.
The narration was very well done.