Saturday, 15 August 2015

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

"I assumed that building a hope chest was a question of exercising the muscles of the chest, to get busts."

I hope this doesn't make you feel too jealous dear reader. Today I feel decidedly cosmopolitan, finishing up reading a book about the Congo overlooking Hong Kong Harbour and now writing my review in the comfort of an airport lounge. Much as the girls of the book miss their creature comforts when removed from civilisation, so I just about hugged the shower attendant after he showed me the way to the showers after a day's wandering due to locked up funds in a malfunctioning travel card - see not all jet-setter lifestyle after all. Back to the book, because you don't want me to jabber on about my day now do you?

The novel features a number of narrators which delivers additional depth to the narrative. Nathan and Orleanna Price move their  four daughters to the remote environs of Kilanga in the Belgian Congo. Nathan is a devout southern baptist missionary out to spread the word to the Congolese, little anticipating their resistance to white interference. Tragedy ensues, but you will have to read the book to find out exactly how. Life twists and turns in unexpected directions for the Price sisters and their journey is recounted in compelling detail.

I flew through this one, it really gives an interesting account of place and growing up. The different ages of the girls as they tell their tale and their stages in life is expertly crafted and makes for a very speedy read. The diverse characters are also particularly memorable, no wonder the book was shortlisted for the Pulitzer prize, was a best seller and won the Boeke prize in South Africa. Did I also mention, it means I can tick another 1001 novel off my list- winning all round! 

5 out of 5 pack this bible in your luggage instead.

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