I read this novel while in the interim apartment here in Atlanta. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver was very interesting. To me it seemed like two stories sort of mashed into one. Or one and a half stories. One story and a hanger-on that can’t seem to form a piece of itself, cannot exist without the other, but still seems like a little too much.
It begins with the story of a missionary family from Georgia (which at the time was my new home!) who have moved to The Congo to convert the natives. It details the trip from before they arrived to long after they’ve “left” through the narrative voices of the mother and three daughters. They tell their stories from a kind of diary perspective.
Throughout the whole section where they’re in Africa living as a family, father trying to convert the natives, women trying to survive, the book is interesting.
After what I’m assuming is the climax, the family disbands for various reasons, and the story’s falling action takes forever to end. I found myself looking forward to see when it was going to be over with. That’s sad, even for me.
I just wanted this book to end a little sooner. It’s like that conversation that seems really interesting at first, but then you’re stuck talking to that person for almost an hour and you find yourself checking any available time piece and getting antsy thinking, “I have GOT to get out of here.”
What I did enjoy about this book was the confirmation that it gave to despise the patriarchal notions of religion and the institutionalization of familial units. Gahr, I was justified and vindicated repeatedly. I found myself thinking, “I could have told you that!” And, “That’s what you get, trying to force people to be Christians!”
I recommend you read it if for nothing else than to get a little perspective on your own religious views. Be more like Brother Fowles in this piece, than Reverend Price.