Books That Inspire 2009

The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s novel The Poisonwood Bible is a fictional, but critical, look at Christian missionary work in the Congo. The father of a Baptist American family takes his family of six and embarks on a seemingly impossible mission in 1959. Each chapter is told from a different perspective, and this makes the book more complex, by making readers see unexpected views on this particular mission. While it specifically looks at how one family on a mission can affect the members of a small Congolese community, it more broadly conveys the power one human being can have. As I begin a career in education, it’s important for me to remember to look at issues from all sides and to really consider the effect our actions can have.

Katie Cook
Staff Assistant
Western History Collections