The Poisonwood Bible

Imagine a ruin so strange it must never have happened.

Several decades of five lives that live through emigration to the Belgian Congo, puberty and growing up, love, loss and independence of both country and family. It’s a big and small story at the same time, with characters you can take with you into your daily life.

A missionary family goes to ‘Dark Africa’ to save souls and show the Christian way. Only the father wants to be there, while the mother and four daughters try to adjust in different ways or not at all. The Belgian Congo is a gorgeous and dangerous and completely different world than Georgia, United States, but they simply didn’t choose it.

The Poisonwood Bible is history, social commentary and a family story. It takes you in easily and is hard to put down. With five points of view it’s easy to pick a favourite or find relief when you don’t like someone’s story.

I recommend this book because it’s very honest. It shows the disappointment of discovering that Christianity and Western society aren’t all-knowing, the gorgeousness but also brutality of Africa and how one situation can turn different people to completely different paths.

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver, HarperFlamingo 2008

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