Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review: The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really liked the first 2/3 of this book, but I would rate the last third somewhere around 2.5 stars. It seemed to turn into a socio-political history of Africa at the end. It would've been better served to sum it all up in an epilogue (without the history lesson).

There are some books that you never want to end when you're reading them, but this is one I thought never would. That said, Barbara Kingsolver writes beautifully! I wish I could write 1/10th so well. Having lived in a country among poverty (but not actually impoverished), her descriptions brought back a flood of memories. However, I will never understand the Nathan Price's of the world-those people who try to exact their own penance and take everyone with them.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?


The Family G said...

I read this book on the long drive from Minnesota to Utah (24 hours road time.) I have to agree with you – kind of like the drive, the book never seemed to end. Her writing is beautiful and so vivid that I can recall many scenes 6 years later, which is unusual for me. The ant attack and the odd clothing choices and the description of smells all come rushing back to me. The father really bugged me, because I can’t really imagine someone being that self-righteous and crazy in real life. I pretty sure I read something else she wrote, but I can’t think of what it might have been.

Kim N said...

I read this book several years ago and when I saw it at the library last week I added it to my list of books to reread.

I had some similar thoughts. I LOVED the first half (or more), but the last part was a bit of a let down. I don't even remember how it ends, but I remember the feelings I had when I read it.

Mrs. Organic said...

Maybe what bothers me more about Nathan Price was Orleanna's willingness to submit to his madness. They were both exacting their own pennance but foisting it on those around them.

Jendeis said...

I had a similar reaction. I wish that the section where the girls are adults went by less quickly. It seemed that Ms. Kingsolver was trying to speed through it to get to where she wanted to be when she got to the last part of the book.

Alisha said...

i haven't read this (perhaps i'll add it to my long list). i have read, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Kingsolver and loved it. Her writing style is magnificent. if you want a good case for localvores this is it. And it is fun to read (not often found together) :)

Elizabeth-W said...

I don't think she was willing so much as stuck--think of her in her time period-it would have been difficult to leave.
Did I tell you my MIL lived in Nigeria as a missionary's daughter when she was a teen? She said it was PTSD-inducing to read this book :)
Like the swarms of ants--she experienced that first hand--seeing chickens eaten to the bone, etc.