Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Favorite Reads: The Poisonwood Bible

My Favorite Reads is a way to revisit books you love but that you read before you had a blog. This week I'd like to tell you about Barbara Kingsolver's THE POISONWOOD BIBLE.

When I first heard about this book I thought it was some sort of sacrilegious novel, something that I'd never choose to read. You have to admit that the title DOES sound strange! One day I saw it on the shelf of ta thrift store's book room and picked it up, just to see what it was actually about. I ended up paying about 50 cents for that very beat-up copy and taking it home with me.

This book hooked me from the first few pages when I read that there is a woman who has four daughters and that one of those daughters has died - which one? and how? and why? What is the whole story here?!

In case you aren't familiar, the book tells the tale of a Southern family in the 1950s (I think) who move to Africa to be missionaries. If ever there was a more unprepared and prejudiced group of people, I 'd be very surprised. The story follows their experiences over approximately 40 years.

Each chapter is told by one of the women - the mother or one of the four daughters. Only the father doesn't get a say in the story. The women each have a distinct voice and you can easily "hear" which one is narrating.

This book is beautifully written, has engaging and dynamic characters, deals with difficult topics, and tells a fascinating story. I've read it twice and recommended it to numerous friends, each time with good results. I even convinced my book club to read it; it turned out to be one of our very best club books. [If you are interested you can read about our discussion here and here.]

I got my mom to listen to the audiobook and she gave it rave reviews. Of course, she also fell in love with Anatole (one of the characters) while listening, so that may have influenced her just a little bit ... ;)

If you still need more encouragement to read this book, you might like to know that it is on the 1,001 books list.

I can't recommend this book highly enough.


For more My Favorite Reads please visit At Home With Books every Thursday.

19 comments:

mynovelreviews said...

I read The Poisonwood Bible several years ago and loved it! I will have to revisit it again, since I forget most of the story.

Anna said...

I absolutely loved this one, too! I didn't know what to expect, and if I hadn't found a ratty copy at a library sale for 50 cents, I probably wouldn't have thought to read it. It's now among my all-time favorites.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Kay said...

I need to read this book. But, how to find the time. Thanks for sharing about it, Heather. It is one of the ones that is on my never-to-be-smaller-only-larger TBR pile. :-)

Teresa said...

I have been meaning to read this one for quite awhile. It always gets pushed back down in my pile. I'll make sure to give it a try sometime soon. Thanks!

Alyce said...

I've heard nothing but great things about this book. I picked up a used copy last year, and am determined to find some time to read it this year.

Regina said...

I need to read this one. Also, "The Help" recently made it's way to my TBR list. I can't wait to get to them!

Crystal said...

I loved The Poisonwood Bible also. I like you didn't think much about it because of the title, but something finally drew me to it and I read it. I could not put it down.

Great selection for your favorite reads.

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book, too and still think about it at times.

Heather J. said...

mynovelreviews & Anna - Always glad to find others who love this book!

Kay, Theresa, Alyce, & Regina - Seriously ladies, move this up your TBR list - you'll be glad you did. :)

Crystal - I'm glad I'm not the only one who had issues with the title at first (although it does make sense by the time you finish the book).

bermudaonion - I think about it from time to time as well - it is a book that has really stayed with me (unlike so many, many others ...).

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

It's on my list to get when my buying ban is over. I've heard so many great things about it, from many folks.

amy said...

I love this book and I recommend it to everyone.:)

April (BooksandWine) said...

I loved this book when I read it back in high school, after someone online recommended it.

Kingsolver is so awesome, I want to collect all of her works. :-)

Heather J. said...

Robin - YAY! When is that ban over? It can't be too soon IMO ...

amy & April - Glad to find more fans. :)

The Single Gal said...

Over the years I've picked this book up dozens of times and put it back down with out opening it. You've convinced me...I'm gonna have to read it.

Thanks for the recommendation!
Connie

Bybee said...

I read this one when it first came out and didn't like it very much. I'm such a big Kingsolver fan, though that I would like to give it another go...maybe my book mood was off.

Heather J. said...

The Single Gal - Oh I hope you love it as much as I do!

Bybee - You are one of only two bloggers I know who haven't liked this book. I GUESS I can forgive you ... ~LOL~

christa @ mental foodie said...

I have heard of this book from multiple sources but never felt like picking it up... until I read your post! Will add to TRB :)

Shelley said...

This is one of my favorites two, and I've also read it twice. I will probably read it again. I love her writing. I think this is her best, though.

Heather J. said...

christa - I do hope you enjoy it!

Shelley - I agree that this is her best - I've read a few of her other books (and plan to read more) but this one is simply fantastic.

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