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Read With Us: The Poisonwood Bible Wrap Up Post

Saying goodbye to our season with The Poisonwood Bible is very bittersweet for me. I’m so happy to have re-read this book and discovered how truly wonderful it is and I’m grateful that I got to share that experience with all of you who participated in this season’s choice.

We had a great Zoom discussion last Tuesday night! Most everyone liked the book, most everyone had read it before, and the division between those who read it and those who listened to it was about equal. Those who listened commented on how fantastic the narrator was at conveying humor and sarcasm and really enhancing those elements of the book.

We talked about Kingsolver’s use of different narrators and how she used that to reveal details not just about those characters experiences but also as a tool to tell more of the story but from each character’s viewpoint. We talked about the things that were unique about each character: Rachel’s malapropisms, Adah’s word play, Leah’s need to be close to Nathan, and Ruth May’s childlike approach to the world. We discussed colonialism and how the backdrop of politics and history of the Congo impacted the plot.

We spent a fair amount of time talking about Nathan Price and our mutual dislike of him. I think Kat put it best when she called him a “small man made smaller by Kingsolver not giving him a voice” in the novel. We also recognized that he was not a reflective person (at all!) and that was perhaps the greatest understatement of the evening.

We talked how their time in the Congo changed the Price family and how some of those changes were for the better, allowing the women of the family to “come into their own” and grow without being constrained by Nathan Price. Sarah mentioned that while this time may have indeed ruined the family, it was really a family that needed to be ruined.

These discussions are always so good and I always come away with something new that I hadn’t thought about. I appreciate each of you who attend and share your thoughts and ideas and, if you’ve never attended, please know that we’d love to have you join us.

One last thing! Our opening question (always interesting and always posed by Kym) was about puzzles and whether you like them or not. Many, many of us do the daily puzzles published in the New York Times, including Wordle and Connections and the Mini Crossword. Some people also do Sudoku. And, quite a few mentioned Spellng Bee, a game I had never played before. And I’ve played it every day since them and it’s not apparently part of my daily routine. All of which is to say . . . Read With Us isn’t just about books!

Thanks again to my awesome co-hosts in this virtual book club, Bonny and Kym. Stay tuned for the announcement of our spring read next week.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Great summary Carole. I love our group and the discussions we have – always lively and, like you, I always come away with something I didn’t know or hadn’t thought of. Fun times. And, that was one great book!

  2. So sorry to have missed this discussion! Great wrap up Carole and looking forward to the announcement next week. (New NYT puzzle…Strands…it’s not bad!)

  3. Our Zooms always seem to go too fast; I really felt we could have kept talking for several more hours! Thanks for a great wrap-up.

  4. Poisonwood was a great discussion book and I’m sorry I couldn’t join you! You hit on all the important themes and your discussion and talk of puzzles is right up my alley. You three do a great job!

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