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Friday Favourite - The Poisonwood Bible

Welcome to another edition of Friday Favourite, where I share a favourite book that I read and loved before I started blogging!

Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible is probably the book that I've read the most times over.  I first read it in Grade 11, when my English teacher told us that we had to choose our own novel and write an essay about our chosen title.  After slogging through both Lord of the Flies AND The Catcher in the Rye that semester, I'd had enough of books with only boys in them and was looking for something with some great female characters.  Plus, I was a major overachiever in high school, so I picked a massively LONG book to read ... just because I could.

The Poisonwood Bible tells the story of a missionary family that goes to the Congo, intending to teach the people of the Congo about religion, only to have the Congo change them in ways that they couldn't have imagined.  The narrative is told from an alternating point of view, so it flips between all the family members.  When I was 17, I really identified with the chapters told from Rachel's point of view.  She's the oldest sister and was close in age to me at the time.  She hated the Congo and was pretty much a typical teenager, griping about why she had to be taken away from home.  I thought that I'd have similar thoughts and feelings if my family uprooted me and moved us away to Africa.

The second time I read this novel was for a Women's Studies class.  I absolutely LOVED Leah's character, who is one of the twins.  She's very fiesty and political and really comes into her own throughout the course of the novel.  Finally, I reread this book again for an English course and fell absolutely head over heels with Adah, the other twin.  Adah sees the world in a really unique way, and writes a lot in palindromes.

I love that I can look back on this book and remember three unique reading experiences.  I'm sure that it's a book that I will reread in the future, and I just can't wait to see which character I identify with this time!  If you haven't experienced Barbara Kingsolver's work, The Poisonwood Bible is an excellent novel and I highly recommend reading it!

2 comments:

  1. I hate to say that I don't really have a book like this anymore. Looking for Alaska used to be one of the books that I really loved and had a connection with, but I ended up giving it away. I regret that now, because it was a well-loved book. I might buy it again though, because it deserves a re-read.

    I think it's really awesome you can connect with a book as much as you have this one, and that each time you read it you get something more out of it. I genuinely love books like that. They're rare, but they do exist!

    Sydney @ Utterly Bookish

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  2. Oh goodness, I loved this book when I read it in high school. I haven't re-read it since then, but I keep meaning to do that. Gosh, you've made me really want to drop everything and do that now. MELISSA. What are you doing to me?

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