Friday, September 28, 2007

poisonwood bible...

Almost forgot to tell you, I finished The Poisonwood Bible last week. Lusciously written and thought provoking, as usual.

A wonderful story, but the political aspects are unsettling. Both because if they're completely true they're ugly and because I'm not sure that they are completely true. Or at least not as cut and dry as they come across. I'm certainly not well educated in the history of Africa but I'm sure there were a lot more layers involved in the decisions that were made and that the solutions are not as simple as Leah makes them seem. It is, after all, a novel so the "facts" are from the viewpoint of fictional characters and colored by their fictional experiences. I just wonder about people reading a book like this and taking the information as truth and perpetuating this particular viewpoint as "truth." Especially since this book has been so popular and widely read. Well, at least this story piques curiosity and hopefully provokes readers to look into the issues themselves. I know I'm interested in learning more.

I have a question, though, for anyone out there who's read it. How did you interpret the last chapter? The part where Orleanna and her three daughters are trying to find the village where they had lived and the woman in the market tells them that it never existed. That threw me for a loop and I'm not sure how to take it. What is she trying to say? Am I missing something simple or is it completely symbolic?

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to have time to read for a while. So much going on. Hopefully, I won't go for too long without starting another book. A good book is such a nice escape!

3 comments:

Kage said...

I just re-read this...finished it last weekend....

The first time I read it was about 8 years ago. It totally changed my life. The last two lines of the book....transformed me into a betrayed and bitter woman into a woman who could forgive. I thought the town dissappearing helped the family to move forward and move on with their lives. Wasn't there talk throughout the book about the new government changing all the names of everything and forcing people out? That's what I thought had happened. I don't think it was a LIfe of Pi thing (did you read that one?)....the symbolism can be seen in so many different ways depending on how you read the book. I like the part about the legend of the man with 5 wives(1 wife, 4 daughterS) etc.

Anyway, to anyone who is struggling to forgive a father....you NEED to read this. Make a place in your heart for forgiveness, read this book and it will happen, and you will be transformed.

lainakay said...

Kage - Thanks for your comment. Wow, that's so neat how this book touched your life.

I agree that the town disappearing helped the family to move on and that actually returning to it may have caused more pain than good.

I guess I'm just caught up on how the woman in the market had never even heard of their village. The book said that she was around the age of Leah and her sisters so even if the name was no longer familiar she would have had a recollection of a village having been in the location they described.

Maybe I'm too literal but how would a village disappear from even the memory of locals within a generation. Still a mystery to me.

lainakay said...

Was she lying to them? If so, why?