Throwback Thursday: The Poisonwood Bible

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books. We choose a book we remember fondly and recommend to our adoring readers to add to their To Read Pile. Plus, we get to link up and all give our fellow bloggers some comment love. Win-Win! This week, I’m continuing my hypothesis about required reading for high school English, and it is this:

If you go back and read it as an adult, you will probably like it.

The Poisonwood Bible

Today, we are continuing my favorite books to teach series, featuring The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver is one of my favorite writers. I love her rich descriptions. She takes her time to tell a story, diving deep into the characters’ minds. I would recommend any of her novels.

The Poisonwood Bible chronicles the lives of a Southern Baptist missionary family, the Prices, as they journey into the Belgian Congo in 1959. Nathan Price, the patriarch of the family, uproots his family to preach to the tribes in Africa, yet the family arrives just at the time of rebellion and strife. Spanning about 30 years, Kingsolver uses the women of the family, Price’s wife and four daughters, to narrate this comedy of errors.

More than a commentary on Americans or missionaries or African unrest, this novel shows the resiliency of these very different women, how they adapt to cultures, religion, their own faith, and eventually, their escape. When I taught AP English, my students used this novel in their illustrations and essays more than any of the other novels we read from the year. Now, this could have been solely because this was the last novel we read before the test. But I like to think they related to Poisonwood the most or enjoyed it the most. No, you’re right. It was probably the time thing. Anyway, you should check it out.

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  1. #1 by Elizabeth on August 23, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    I recently read this book for the first time and really loved it. I had just read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (on your recommendation!) and wanted to read some of her fiction. This is what our library had!

  2. #2 by kellywiggains on August 23, 2012 - 8:44 pm

    I recommend anything of hers. She’s just great with prose. Hey, Marilynne Robinson has a new book of essays published. It’s called When I Was a Child I Read Books. I’ve checked it out but haven’t started it yet.

  3. #3 by Lauren@The Housework Can Wait on August 28, 2012 - 9:25 am

    I haven’t read this one. I confess to being slightly intimidated by the length (even though it’s not THAT bad) just because my time and attention span are both in short supply lately. But it sounds fascinating, and I WILL read it. Eventually!

    I’m late commenting this week, but better late than never!

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