The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
bad thing causes something worse. As Anatole says, if you look hard enough you can always see reasons, but you’ll go crazy if you think it’s all punishment for your sins. I see that plainly when I look at my parents. God doesn’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves. Looking back over the months that led to this day, it seems the collapse of things started in October, with the vote in church. We should have been good sports and lit out of the Congo right
different promises and the white King lurked somewhere in disguise. There were going to be winners and losers. Now there are wars in the south, killings in the north, rumors that foreigners took over the army and want to murder Lumumba. On the day of the hunt a war was already roaring toward us, whites against blacks. We were all swept up in a greediness we couldn’t stop. My argument with Gbenye over the impala, which really I killed, became a shouting match between people who’d voted for me and
urine, flowers, dark spices, and other things I’ve never even seen—I can’t say what goes into the composition, or why it rises up to confront me as I round some corner hastily, unsuspecting. It has found me here on this island, in our little town, in a back alley where sleek boys smoke in a stairwell amidst the day’s uncollected refuse. A few years back, it found me on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where I’d returned for a family funeral: Africa rose up to seize me as I walked on a pier past a
day haunts me. I was trying to keep track of my girls but could see only Leah. I recall she was in the pale blue dress with the sash that tied behind her back. All the girls but Rachel generally ran ragged, so this must have been—for our family—a Sunday, a coincidence of our big day and the villagers’. Leah had a basket in her arms, carrying for me some burden that held her back from her preferred place at the head of the pack. The others had moved out of sight. I knew Nathan would be impatient
family can come. That is Father’s plan. Reverend Underdown is pretending not to be mad at us. After the King and the other white men spoke, they inaugurated Patrice Lumumba as the new Prime Minister. I could tell exactly which one he was. He was a thin, distinguished man who wore real eyeglasses and a small, pointed beard. When he stood up to speak, everyone’s mouth shut. In the sudden quiet we could hear the great Congo River lapping up its banks. Even the birds seemed taken aback. Patrice