The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver (The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams) sets her books in the Southwest but doesn’t shrink from changing her routine. Her latest novel, brimming with stylistic marvels, follows an American Baptist missionary family to a Belgian Congo dense with tropical flowers and venomous snakes. The Poisonwood Bible begins in 1959, but Kingsolver’s narrators, the wife and four daughters of the fire-and-brimstone-breathing preacher, don’t stop talking until the present day, peeling back layers of family dynamics and creating a complex, timely portrayal of a region still struggling with its colonial legacies. Kingsolver, a trained biologist with an eye for detail, triumphs as each distinct voice enhances her underlying tenet: ”You can’t just sashay into the jungle aiming to change it all over to the Christian style, without expecting the jungle to change you right back.” A

The Poisonwood Bible
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