This tale of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against history's most dramatic political parables.
The Poisonwood Bible dances between the darkly comic human failings and inspiring poetic justices of our times. In a compelling exploration of religion, conscience, imperialist arrogance, and the many paths to redemption, Barbara Kingsolver has brought forth her most ambitious work ever.
©2004 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
"Haunting..A novel of character, a narrative shaped by keen-eyed women." (New York Times Book Review)
"The book's sheer enjoyability is given depth by Kingsolver's insight and compassion for Congo, including its people, and their language and sayings." (Boston Globe)
"Beautifully written....Kingsolver's tale of domestic tragedy is more than just a well-told yarn.. Played out against the bloody backdrop of political struggles in Congo that continue to this day, it is also particularly timely." (People)
One of the best! It is well written and at times I hung on every word! I did have to get used to the reader since I felt it was spoken a bit fast. But overall I highly recommend this book to anyone who really wants to hear a good story about "... there's Christians and then there's "Christians"... Loved it!
The various viewpoints from each member of the family - except "The Father", which I would have loved to get a better sense of who he was through his own eyes. But I enjoyed Ada the most, and her thoughts captivated me. I think everyone can relate in some degree of being different or imperfect and noticing how others relate to your visual imperfections - as she said - even the cripple girl wants to live. But I must admit I did laugh out loud at Rachel's sincere selfishness.
A bit fast, but it worked.
Ada. Amazing strength. She overcome a mother's decision to abandon her, only to later find out her mother's simple process of caregiving.
I loved how Barbara weaved a beautiful story of nature, marriage, motherhood, sibling rivalry, village relationships, racial tensions, poverty, religion and politics all in one wonderful story. I hope this books tells everyone how everything is intricately connected, no matter where we are in the world. Thanks, Barbara! Well done!
I purchased this book after a coworker recommended it, although I had little idea of what to expect. I was hooked from the start. I was raised in a very religious family and think I felt some kinship to the story tellers, although I certainly can't say that I experienced anything of the like. I had never read a great deal about the Congo either, so found it exciting to have my interest peeked about the country. I loved the way the author used the point of view from the very different and flawed characters in the book. It was quite enjoyable and I highly recommend this novel.
I agree with the other reviews, the book overall is great. The narrator on the other hand is reading as fast as she can and makes it very hard to listen to or to keep track of what is going on. I would suggest listening to a sample first to see if you can tolerant the narrators style.
By switching narrators of the story, Ms. Kingsolver gives us a very complete view of her characters. We get to see, not only their best attributes, but also their flaws. We also get more insight as to why they made the decisions they did in an effort to cope with their situations. It made me like the characters more to understand, not only how others saw them, but how they saw themselves. This was most obvious to me with Rachel, who I couldn't connect with at all, but by the end of the book, I could really see how she was just doing what she could to carve out a life she could be happy with (even if I never could connect with her).
The last third of the story seemed like multiple conclusions, one after another. I would think the story was over and another section would start. Then, when the story did end, it seemed abrupt. I appreciated, I think, knowing what happened to all of the characters later on in life but, it felt like touching more in depth than necessary on too many stories. It gave me too much information and too little at the same time, just leaving me lacking. I probably would have been happier with just the family reunion at the end and a brief explanation of what brought them to that point.
Yes, I enjoyed her writing style, and I felt that she was very fair in what she presented. She did not try to tell the reader what opinion to have, but instead presented the evidence, if you will, and let the reader come to his/her own opinion.
There were times that I had missed the heading that differentiated who was telling the story, and it wasn't until I could tell that the author's voice had changed that I realized the character had changed. It would have been much easier to follow if the narrator had used different voices for each character.
No, but I think that the last third could have been worked into separate follow up books from each individual's perspective. I would have happily followed the individual stories of each of the characters.
One of the best explanations on the shaping of character and the exchange of cultures as a result of immigration.
Like evolution, the changes that take place, or are resisted by the characters, move slowly. I thought of my own children as I read about the 4 daughters of the Baptist missionary bringing salvation to the Congo. Through malnutrition, parasitic disease and marching ants the family grows attached to Africa. Why?
The wisdom and forbearance of those who have been shaped by the Congo for millennia, are the shapers of the convertors from Georgia, U.S.A. To watch the father who brings salvation to darkest Africa isolate himself from reality reminds me of how we wish to create the world into our likeness.
Although I could most identify with the mother, the courage, patience and loyalty of Anatole most captured me. Each daughter, with her own story of what life is, filled the pieces of the puzzle.
I shed a tear or two when the story ended because, although it didn't end too soon, I will miss living with the characters' insights. Barbara Kingsolver created a masterpiece fit for any audience.
This was a very good story. I loved learning about life in Africa. I both loved and hated the characters at the same time. I felt bad for the mother being stuck in a horrible situation but not having a way to fix it. I kept waiting for her to grow a backbone and stand up to her husband. I liked learning about the sad history of the African politics.
I can't imagine just reading this book, after hearing it told in such beautiful, almost poetic tones.
This was a fabulous narration of a beautiful and gripping story. The author 's use of different characters to take turns telling the story was brought perfectly to life through the narrator's ability to subtly alter voice to match each character's unique personality.
Boring. poor character development
sure. there was no pace
i tried but did not finish listening. So I cut most of the 2ndhalf
I want to read books that take me to a "place and/or time" I've never been. On the other hand, I love reading about places where I HAVE been.
I love the story of this family; wife and 4 daughters who moved to the Belgian Congo with their strict, unbending Baptist minister husband/father. Rich with detail and rife with calamity it is a wonderfully narrated story of life in Africa. Kingsolver evidently did her research. Enjoyed the POV of the daughters and the wife in each new chapter. I always feel a bit dismayed by the stories of Christians trying to convert the people of other lands. Why are/were such people so arrogant as to believe that colonization is the answer to political problems. Needless to say there is a good message here.
I cannot express enough how I loved this narrator. It appears Audible incorrectly identifies her as Dean Robertson and I wish I knew who the narrator actually was b/c I would select other books read by her. I have read criticisms about her reading this book and I don't agree with a single one of them. She is fast but I much prefer a fast reader so that I'm lulled into sleepiness by a boring old narrator. This narrator also has the southern accents and voice down perfectly.
My favorite character was Adah. The narrator read her part beautifully.
This is a magical book in which the Congo comes to life with each line you listen to. The book is an honest look into how damaging religion can be, and how arrogant we are as white Americans (and even the Europeans) are to think we can come in and
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