Poisonwood Bible, The

Kingsolver, Barbara

  11 Reviews

Kingsolver waited thirty years to write this book, having experienced the Belgian Congo as a child. In 1959, Baptist missionary, Nathan Price, sets off for the Congo with his wife, four daughters, and Betty Crocker cake mixes. They are woefully unprepared for the isolation, climate, and political upheaval as the Congolese seek independence from Belgium. [big read]

Comments from Groups

Really enjoyed it - talented writer - unusual setting/situation for a family (from a Western country) to be in. Auckland 211

We talked for hours...It brought up a lot of issues regarding politics, colonialism and the struggle for independence.Queenstown 010

Clever writing, great characters and humour.Very good descriptions of the Congo and life in the jungle. Mangaweka 001

Decided it was a mammoth read! Good discussion re colonisation of Africa (and other countries) and types of missionary work. Auckland 261

Members felt this book gained from being read twice and generated much discussion. Timaru 007

Interesting, compelling, lots of 'big' issues to discuss. All thought the chapters from different perspectives clever and so true to life. Cromwell 002

Without exception we all felt this was a brilliant book in so many ways. Beautifully written - Kingsolver has wonderful descriptive powers. Her portrayal through the eyes of the children and mother adds to its power. We had very interesting discussions about the cultural differences displayed through language, and about the West's arrogance. We saw similarities with the West and Iraq, Iran etc Most of us had read it previously , and still thought we could read it a third time. Whitby 003

Complex book which stimulated great discussion! Recommended reading. Demanding reading however. Wanaka 015

A tough read, only 4 of the 12 members finished it. Those said it was worth it at the end, but they had to push themselves to finish it. Hastings 007

A book that divided our group. Some struggled to finish, but those who did enjoyed it. The beginning was hard to get into, and the different 'voices' for each chapter took some getting used to. Auckland 248

Those members who completed the book were impressed with the quality and depth of writing, the characterisation of the Price family, and the sensitive awareness of their life amongst the people of the Congo. We thought the book notes were very good. An outstanding book on many fronts. Whakatane 005



WELL 117
A well-written book, provoking much discussion. Several read the book for the second time and picked up more on the political side of the Congo. Some thought it could have been two books. Well structured book with its various complex characters.
Enjoyable read, although some found it hard going and depressing, although realistic. Well-written and well received.
CHCH 236
Mixed reviews - generally favourable. Several had already read the book.
Enjoyed by all. Highly recommended.
An excellent book enjoyed by all. Distinctive writing for each character. African life and Congo history revealed and appreciated. GOOD notes.
Popular book - generally all enjoyed. Gave a good insight into The Congo.
Most of the group had read the book before and had enjoyed it. Mainly, the members had dipped into it again to refresh their recollection of it, and all agreed that it was a well-written novel which stimulated discussion. We thought the book notes were excellent in both the political information of that region of Africa, and the discussion topics.
CHCH 068
We only had a small group because of illness, however telephone discussion showed that most people really enjoyed this novel.
NELS 050
Conversations around the history of the Congo - interesting. We loved the way the book was written through each of the female characters. Very much enjoyed.
Great book! Most of us had read this book before but still enjoyed it the second time.
CHCH 392
Everyone enjoyed reading it, although some thought it was a bit dark. Good discussion.