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Book Talk: The Poisonwood Bible

I’ve wanted to read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver for oh about 15 years. I first picked it up in 2008 and have put it down at least 3 times. I even gave it away at one point.

I was at a thrift store with my friend Janelle a few months ago and saw it in pristine condition for $1.00 and decided what the heck I’ll try again.

This was a commitment. I’m glad I stayed with it. There are a lot of details that matter but it takes awhile to get through.

The story is about a family of 6- a crazy Baptist pastor and his wife and four daughters move from Georgia to the Congo to evangelize to the people who live there. It’s all told through the eyes of the daughters and the wife. The Dad does not narrate at all which is maybe the most interesting part.

I found that I really started connecting with the book once chapters from the Mom came around. Honestly it’s a heartbreaking book and though it was tough to get through it left me still thinking about it weeks later.

The Dad is portrayed as this monster really and the more I think about it the more I think wow he really had a mental illness and though you can hardly feel bad for him because of what he puts his family and the communities around him through you feel sad that he was so twisted in his own brain that he thought what he was doing was the right thing to do.

Beyond the family story it also gives a lot of historical context to the war in the Congo as well. I’m not sure how accurate that piece is but I think the author did her best to paint a real picture of it. I’m certainly not educated on it enough to know all those facts!

I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to give much away in case you want to read it.

I would just say have a fun book on the side to read if you need breaks unless you think that would distract you from picking it back up! I got through it by taking it little chunks at a time.

This is not a ringing endorsement I know AND I think I’d still recommend it.

Have you read it?

Questions for you:

1. Book you read this year that you most recommend?

2. Book you could have done without?

3. Book you are excited to start?

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