Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible
Written by Barbara Kinsolver
"Until that moment I'd always believed I could still go home and pretend the Congo never happened." -- Rachel, pg 367

Reverend Price, the father of four girls, and the husband of Mrs. Price, is an evangelical Baptist missionary who drags his entire family into the wilds of the Congo.  Their story spans 30 years and is told alternately by each of the daughters, as well as Mrs. Price. 

While reading this book, I couldn't help but feel a kinship with the Price family, when I saw just how ill prepared they really were for their situation.  The Price's situation, put me in mind of how a new parent feels when they are suddenly thrust into the job of being a father or a mother.  One moment you're just a person responsible for yourself.  The next moment you are a parent and responsible for another life.  No amount of groundwork can really provide you with the foundation you need before the baby arrives.  You can read all the right books, ask all the right questions, and practice with other people's children every day, but none of those things will ensure that you are able to deal with whatever happens once you have your own child to care for. 

Thus was the Price's dilemma when they undertook their journey to the Congo to deliver salvation to the Congolese people.  They were completely unaware of the trials and tribulations they would face, of the difficulties that they would have to overcome, of the sheer impossibility of such harsh conditions.  They believed that they knew what to expect.  They had been told that it wouldn't be easy, but they had absolutely no idea how utterly vulnerable they really were.  And before their journey would come to an end, each and every member of the Price family would be irrevocably changed.

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