The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel

byBarbara Kingsolver

Kobo ebook | October 13, 2009

Pricing and Purchase Info


Available for download

Not available in stores


The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Against this backdrop, Orleanna Price reconstructs the story of her evangelist husband's part in the Western assault on Africa, a tale indelibly darkened by her own losses and unanswerable questions about her own culpability. Also narrating the story, by turns, are her four daughters—the self-centered, teenaged Rachel; shrewd adolescent twins Leah and Adah; and Ruth May, a prescient five-year-old. These sharply observant girls, who arrive in the Congo with racial preconceptions forged in 1950s Georgia, will be marked in surprisingly different ways by their father's intractable mission, and by Africa itself. Ultimately each must strike her own separate path to salvation. Their passionately intertwined stories become a compelling exploration of moral risk and personal responsibility.

Dancing between the dark comedy of human failings and the breathtaking possibilities of human hope, The Poisonwood Bible possesses all that has distinguished Barbara Kingsolver's previous work, and extends this beloved writer's vision to an entirely new level. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.

Title:The Poisonwood Bible: A NovelFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 13, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061804819

ISBN - 13:9780061804816


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I loved all the detail she added into the story. As a Canadian, I hadn't learned practically anything about world history (aside from Canadian combat missions) in public school, so I got particularly absorbed in the non-fictional history of the area, as shown in the novel. A superb read.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read! As a first time reader of Kingsolver, I must say I was not disappointed!
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Poisonwood Bible One of the ten best books ever written! Full of symbolism, the prose flows, twinkling from light to dark and back again as the protagenist comes to greater understanding of herself and those around her
Date published: 2015-04-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Poisonwood Bible I loved this book, wished it wouldn't end.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Kingsolver at her best The Poisonwood Bible is one of the best novels I have read in a long time. It is the captivating and beautifully written saga of a family and a country. Kingsolver's imagery is so vivid it transports you to the Belgian Congo as you tear through the pages to find out what happens next.
Date published: 2001-01-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Poisonwood Bible I generally find that authors don't know how to end their books, and Kingsolver is no exception. After slogging us through 400 or so pages of the characters' individual and collective hells, she tries to tidy all the unpleasantness up and wrap it in a bow. It undermines all the gut-wrenching work she's asked of the reader to that point. She also never really gets us completely attached to her heroines in the way we need to be to be truly moved. An average novel that very well could have been a great novel.
Date published: 2001-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Poisonwood Bible This is a book that will grab the attention of religious and non-religious types. It offers insight into the human condition when one allows a value system take over one's entire thought process. The Poisonwood Bible is a facinating and enlightening read. I highly reccomend it to anyone looking for a terrific book for their book club. My group read it last year and I think it was the only book we all agreed on: We all loved it!
Date published: 2000-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poisonwood Bible A novel of epic proportions spanning three decades, it tells the story of a head-strong evangelist who relocates his family to Africa, and their trials, revelations, and insigh
Date published: 1999-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Poisonwood Bible Kingsolver writes wonderful stories about some of the quirkiest, most appealing characters I have ever come across - and she provides some of her best characters ever in this book, while writing an important, thought-provoking story at the same time. The story is one of Africa, told by the wife and four daughters of an evangelical Baptist minister over three decades, beginning in the 1950s. Each tells her story in her own voice a chapter at a time, giving the reader a unique and diverse picture of the rebirth of African freedom, and the richness of the continent's heritage. At its worst, it is a truly satisfying novel. At its best, an outstanding commentary on an important part of world history. A must-read for anyone who loved The Power of One.
Date published: 1999-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Poisonwood Bible An engrossing family story with history, politics, religion, morality and nature all playing their parts. Kingsolver displays great warmth and compassion in relating the experiences of four daughters of Protestant missionaries in the twentieth-century Congo (Zaire). The military upheavals described in this book continue today, and have recently taken a turn for the worse. This is an excellent book, and I will be recommending it this Christmas. Books by Chinua Achebe, Doris Lessing and Bryce Courtenay would all tie in well with it.
Date published: 1998-12-12