Book Review – The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – from an old #Journal

1999-02-15 I had read Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  I loved it.  I quoted it for a handful of pages.  But before I did, I said this about it: “I came away from this book feeling as if I had the scent of Africa on my skin.  It was historically accurate and vividly descriptive.  The story of a mission family told through the eyes of four daugthers and a wife.  It is very recommend-able. Enjoyed.”

For an excerpt of the book, click: here.


A review of the book can be found on The Guardian.

The author’s bio can be found on her website: here.

The quotes that I found fascinating are here:

“Adah: “Sunrise, tantalize, evil eyes, hypnotize: that is the morning Congo Pink… Blossomy rose-color birdsong air streaked sour with breakfast cookfires.”

Adah: “It was neither diabolical nor divine; it but shook the doors of the prison house of my disposition; and like the captives of Philippi, that which stood within ran forth.”

Tata Jesus is bangala!

Adah (after the lion tracked her and then ran after another scent): “I wonder that religion can live or die on the strength of a faint, stirring breeze.  The scent trail shifts, causing the predator to miss the pounce.  One god draws in the breath of life and rises; another god expires.”

(my fave quote) “When I want to take God at his word, exactly, I take a peep out the window at His creation. Because that, darling, He makes fresh for us every day without a lout of dubious middle managers.”

“The sting of a fly, the Congolese say, can launch the end of the world.”

“Who else could make the colors of the aurora borealis rise off my skin where he strokes my forearm?”


It has been so long since I read this book, the storyline is a smoky shadow in my brain. However, just from reading those quotes I remember how fascinated I was with the multi-view narrative and the flourish of description.  I will need to re-read the book and then update the blog with how I feel about the book 18 years later.

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