About 2 years ago I joined a group of friends who meet once a month & swap books. It's kind of like a book club, except we don't all read the same book. Anyway, for 2 years now, I've been chastised for not having read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Well, I finally read it & I LOVED it!
From the cover:
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife & four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family & 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 & remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Believe the hype. This book is that good. I daresay it's one of the best books I've ever read. The story of this family is so compelling & the way the book is written makes it impossible to put down. Each chapter is told through the voice of one of the four daughters, so you find yourself reading chapter after chapter to get back to a particular storyline/daughter. If you've read The Help, it's very similar to that.
This book is historical fiction. So while the characters are obviously made up, the details about Africa are not. This book taught me so much about Africa. You may think you know, but you don't know. If you grew up in the late 1950's/early 1960's, I think you'll really like this book. There are a lot of cultural references to that time. There are also a lot of references to Georgia, so if you're from the South, you'll identify with that, as well.
If you are one of the few people who have yet to read this book, read it. Now. You can borrow mine, or buy one of the million paperback copies at McKay for $1.00. I'm serious, I'm going to start harassing you if you don't read this book. You've been warned....