by Barbara Kingsolver
"The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all 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." (From the CD container)
I really liked this book. The telling of the story from multiple perspectives is almost always a technique I enjoy, and it is done wonderfully here. Each took away very different lessons from her experiences in Africa, and I loved being able to see close-up how each was changed as those experiences were interpreted and reinterpreted as time passed.
I found one of the most memorable scenes to be when Nathan is arguing Biblical translation and interpretation with the former missionary of the village, Brother Fowles. Not only was it interesting in light of my recent reading of Misquoting Jesus, but the way Brother Fowles was able to relate Bible passages to native spiritual beliefs of the Congolese was breathtaking. It gave me a unique and beautiful perspective to consider next time I am reading it.
Like Dances with Wolves, this was one of those book that made me want to scrub the white from my skin so I didn't have to associate myself with the people and politics of Western culture that participate in the exploitation that so devastates other countries and cultures. I love the way of life I am blessed to be able to live in America, but does that mean it's the way everyone should live? Just because I like it doesn't make it a good idea.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!