Tag Archives: History

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 1st edition (May 31, 2005), Paperback: 576 pages, ISBN-10: 0060786507, ISBN-13: 978-0060786502

The Prices, an American missionary family of six, attempt to bring Christianity to the Congo in 1959, but things do not turn out the way they hope. Instead, the land, people and customs are so foreign that the Congo imprints itself onto the family and irrevocably changes all of them. This story follows both the Congo’s trials and tribulations during this time as well as the lives within this family.

This historical fiction starts in 1959 in the Belgian Congo and continues through to 1990. The story is told in a first person narrative alternating between the five Price women, Orleanna, the mother and her four daughters: Rachel, Leah, Adah, and Ruth May. Barbara Kingsolver has 13 published books and has received several awards for her various works.

The Poisonwood Bible illustrates how war negatively affects people’s lives. The story shows first how World War II changed and destroyed Nathan’s life and ultimately led them all to the Congo. Since the majority of this book takes place in Africa during a time of war and strife, the heart-wrenching damage done to Africa and it’s people is continually revealed as this tale is told. The story is a clear indication of the evil and harm that greed and selfishness can do. This tale is well written with great character development.

I highly recommend this novel; it gives a really good description of Africa. I loved the picture Ms. Kingsolver draws of the pre-Belgian Congo. This is a standalone story with a great beginning and middle, I found the ending to be a bit weak, but overall still a really good read.

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Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Nantucket Series

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
First book in the Nantucket Series
Publisher: Tantor Audio (October 27, 2008), Audiobook – 25 hour(s) and 13 min. (608 pages), ASIN: B001JK662G

Imagine how different our world would be if the knowledge and technology of the 21th century was introduced to the people of the Bronze Age?  Island in the Sea of Time brings up this concept when Nantucket is inexplicably thrown into the past.

This is the first of three books in the Nantucket series, and it is considered both science fiction and alternative history.  Mr. Stirling has written numerous books and series in the science fiction, fantasy and alternative history genres.  This book takes current day Nantucket and places the island over 3,000 years in past. It is told in a third person narrative by the various different characters.

This is a great book, I love the concept. There was plenty of action with lots going on all the time. The characters are interesting and likeable, even some of the bad ones, but I did not feel they were as deep as I would have liked. Overall it is an exciting and fascinating read. First we deal with the adjustment the Americans had to go through once they realized where in time they were and then we see the impact they are having on the people in 1250 BC.  Hindsight is definitely an asset in this situation.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading alternative history. I am looking forward to reading Against the Tide of Years, which is the next book in the series.

Question to Ponder: Would our world be better today or worse, if our technology was introduced and implemented within the confinements of 1250 BC?


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