NOVEMBER 2020 ✩ 7 PAGES/DAY
THE POISONWOOD BIBLE, BARBARA KINGSOLVER (543 PAGES)
READ: 347 PAGES
The Poisonwood Bible has always managed to amaze me, truly, with its writing style and intricate descriptions. I discovered a multitude of unique word intellect that inspired me with my own writing and creativity choices. Especially, I’ve noticed that my recent creative pieces have been heavily influenced by this book – a lot more religious or corrupt undertones. This book is wonderfully thought-provoking and eye-catching. My main issue with The Poisonwood Bible is this: the plot drags on.
With a plot that centralizes around a white, Christian family on a missionary in the moving act of freedom within the Congo, you expect a plot that never fails to excite the reader. Putting a family struggling to survive within a whole new environment should provide plenty of plot for the novel itself; and, while there’s a plot (500+ pages of it), the plot gets redundant after a while. Blame it on my lack of knowledge about religion, sure. The growth of the characters seems to be happening at a snail’s pace. Out of the four daughters, only one of them seems to progress from the beginning of the book. (It also begs the question of whether its really growth or not. She went from adoring one adult figure to another, and while the change is beneficial to her, it’s not necessarily growth). The plot has progressed, but the characters haven’t.
Speaking of characters, I also have an issue with the relationship progressing between two characters: the girl being less than 17, and the guy being above 18. It seems odd to see a relationship grow between two characters that clearly isn’t just platonic, especially with that age gap. I could be overreacting, but it just seems unpleasant. It’s ironic how the only “good” relationship we see throughout this book is the one with an unsettling age gap. How romantic.
This is a bit of a spoiler, so read ahead wisely. My main goal for the family was for them to finally return to America, yet I don’t see any progress towards that yet. I read tidbits of the mother paying people for a flight back – that wasn’t mentioned ever again. At my point in the book, I have no idea what’s happening towards the ultimate goal. The plot is just a roundabout circle with no end goal. The daughters still haven’t integrated well into the Congo. The father is still a terrible father figure that has anger issues and likes to whip sugarcane. The mother, a main focus near the beginning of the story, has barely been mentioned where I am currently reading. I really hope the plot starts progressing soon. I’m even starting to get sick of the daughters and their hopelessness (surely they have a spine?).
I will continue this book, mostly because I hate leaving a book unfinished. I feel as if I’m reading completing this novel just for the sake of it. I regret reading something with so many pages. I feel drained.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like this novel immensely, it’s just way too long for my liking.
I’m disappointed in myself for failing to reach my goal :(, yet I understand why I couldn’t. I had a lot more assignments and tests this month. Plus, ending up in quarantine ultimately screwed me over. For this month, I hope to, once again, increase my pages per day to around 17 pages. I have another novel to read once I’m done The Poisonwood Bible, a collection of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft. I’m really excited to read that! My goal for books is to read shorter ones, as to not drain me mentally.