Hello friends! Today we are going to look at Barbara Kingsolver‘s The Poisonwood Bible! I read this in either 10th or 12th grade (I remember which English teacher I had at the time, but I had her for both those years so I just can’t remember which year.) It came out in 1998 and I honestly had never heard of the book until I grabbed it off the library shelf at random. I fell in love. I never did quite enjoy another Kingsolver book (and I really tried) as much as I loved The Poisonwood Bible, but I encourage you to give her other stuff a try if you like this one.
So the novel follows a family of missionaries from Georgia, the Prices. The year is 1959 and the plan is to move to the Belgian Congo to spread the gospel. The family is made up of Nathan and Orleanna, the parents, and their four daughters Rachel (15), Leah (14, a twin), Adah (14, a twin), and Ruth May (5). Now a lot of people don’t know this (I didn’t know because we never studied it at my high school), but the Belgian Congo was subject to much political upheaval during the 1960s. The novel follows the Price girls as they grow up and the family is exposed to tragedy after tragedy. But, no spoilers for today. You’ll have to read the book. Actually, I plan to reread this at some point because there is a lot I don’t remember since I read it so long ago. I do remember that I loved it a lot though.
Now, it’s time to connect some dots. You all know how much I love Hamilton, but I took a break this week to listen to another musical that everyone tells me that I would love– The Book of Mormon. It’s a musical written by the creators of South Park about missionaries that go to spread the gospel in Uganda. And what is the main character’s name in this play? Elder Kevin PRICE. The Book of Mormon came out in 2011 and I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE FACT THE MAIN CHARACTER’S NAME IS PRICE IS JUST A COINCIDENCE. In addition to sharing the same name, Elder Price and the Price family from The Poisonwood Bible are incredibly ignorant about the African culture that they find themselves in. The privilege and ignorance is astounding. However, I think it’s important to take a look at the blatant ignorance and think about how it applies to our own lives and surroundings, especially in this day and age. That’s all I’m going to say about that at this point in time. Take a look at my Hamiltrash blog from a few weeks ago. I’ve made my feelings on this subject clear.