Splendid, magic, harsh,
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This review is from: The Poisonwood Bible (Paperback)
An amazing story of a preacher family that moves to Congo to "rescue the heathens" in the jungle in 1959: preacher father, mother and their four daughters (age 5-15). The story is told, or kind of pours out, through the voices of the five females. Kingsolver manages the magic of giving the five women clear, individual voices, convincingly giving them idiosyncrasies. Kingsolver also manages to develop these five characters: they change as the country and society changes around them, as their understanding increases (or, as in one of them; the resistance and reluctance to change drives her to cling to what-was, what-could-have-been). This in itself, I think, is an amazing feat: few authors manage this convincingly and with such elegance.
As the family falls apart, so does Congo, and the country, truths, dogmas, faith, politics and the unit of the family disintegrates. The women all make their own - and new - choices. They all change into something new; something that does not fit either fully in Africa, or fully in the USA.
This is in fact one of my all-time favourite books, I have read it several times, I keep reading it, and I keep finding new details and insight.