The Poisonwood Bible

Well written, historically accurate with complex characterisation. A war damaged evangelical missionary takes his family to the Belgian Congo in 1959 with tragic consequences. 10/10

A story of survival and adaptation to a frightening way of life in a turbulent African state. The misguided missionary who subjects his dutiful wife and four brave daughters is hard to like. 8/10

Very well written account of a fanatical Baptist missionary who takes his wife and four daughters to the Belgian Congo just before the country gains independence. The narrator gives a first person account of her experiences and emotions and is each family member, excluding Nathan, the father, from chapter to chapter. The privations the family endures is set against the tragedy of the Congo’s short lived Socialist president Lumumba who is overthrown and killed by a CIA backed insurgency, and the father’s rigid, impractical interpretation of his Christian faith. 9/10

Burley Library Reading Group

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