Tesse (USA: AR) (2007/05/14):
Gather your courage and step in to the deep dark jungles of the Congo following the footsteps of the Poison wood preacher and his five wives. The story starts out in the year 1959 with a Baptist Minster and his family headed for the Congo jungle to bring the light of Jesus into the darkness that dwells in the deep the African heart. We meet Brother Price, his wife Orleanna, and four daughters Rachel, Adeh, Leah and Ruth as they are preparing for the trip over to Kilanga to spend a year as missionaries. Once there they discover that their journey will not end with only a year but will extend over a life time as the jungle takes root into their souls. This story is a well crafted combination of the characters journey through life and the turbulent history of the Congo all told in a rich vibrant manner that allows you to hear, see, touch and smell Africa through all the eyes of the family. Each chapter is told in the insightful view of each character by rotating through Orleanna, Rachel, Adeh, Leah and Ruth's personal perspectives of what is occurring at the moment.
The author carefully crafted her characters with unique personalities which causes you to love and hate them at the same time. They become inextricably human as the book progress causing you to feel the joys and sadness each one experiences. You can't help but feel the pull of the jungle and the strife it's people face on a daily basis to survive.
I wish I could put in better words the way this book affected me. It got under my skin and has left me with a warm glow. I highly recommend this book for TBR pile.
darkwood (Australia) (2007/09/22):
This is about a missionary who takes his family to the Congo to civilize the natives. He can't speak their language and repeatedly calls God by their word for "poisonwood" which only serves to confuse and scare them-- hence the title of the book. Each chapter is narrated by one of his four daughters whose lives are so horribly affected by his arrogance and high-handed way of managing the mission to the point their lives become endangered. It's a wonderfully crafted, well-written, exciting novel. I couldn't put it down.