Well, I love a good novel, but I lose a sense of self control when I dive into them so I save most novel reading for holidays. It’s a form of escapism. I would have to say I am not myself until I finish a novel once begun…and then some. Meaning, I actually feel depressed after completing a novel, like I have entered some other world, or some other peoples lives and suddenly exit them as the book finishes. Grief I guess, just for a while…don’t worry about me! Holidays almost over…few more days. Today has been the first day by myself, nobody home from 11 – 3…stunning!
This past week I have been reading what I would have to say has been one of the most enjoyable, frustrating, thought provoking novel I have read for a long time. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998), is a book every would be missionary, church planter…Christian, should read. If you have any thoughts on issues of contextualisation, or the effect of capitalization on third world nations or the place the USA has played in post 1950 Africa or even further back, the place the Portuguese played in the original settlement of Africa. Or if you simply enjoy a study of a family, their lives, their ways and their outcomes over 30 years – this is a read not to be missed!
I am reading through Angus and Robertson’s top 100 books over the next 20 years…but they keep changing it! This one was on the list…hey it also made Oprah’s list!
Wikipedia says –
The novel focuses on how the tragedies of violence and hunger experienced by Africans are mostly caused by the foreign influences in the country. Kingsolver expands the novel into more than a historical critique of the colonialization of Africa by creating parallels between the country of the Congo and situation of the Price family girls as they are abused by Nathan, who vehemently believes himself a vessel of the Christian God. He consistently symbolizes the exploitation by white men on Africa and, to some extent, the domination of anyone or anything too weak to fend for itself. The Poisonwood Bible offers perspective on the imbalance of power, resources, and justice that exists in the Congo and even the rest of the world.
The other book I read last week (Terrify No More) was a book someone recommended to me when I said I was interested in the plight of young kids rescued from sex slavery in Cambodia. The book is written by a worker in a US based mission group (International Justice Mission) dedicated exclusively to freeing slaves. This book documents the gripping events leading up to, and surrounding, IJMÂs raids in the notorious Cambodian village of Svay Pak where their workers rescued 37 underage victims of sex-trafficking, many of them under the age of 10.
Terrify No More. – Gary Haugen