Sorry to be incognito for a while. I’ve been a little distracted and haven’t been able to engage in things I enjoy such as blogging and reading. I won’t muse boringly upon it, but I would like to say that one legitimate reason for not reading is that I always seem to have an obstacle in my way.
When it comes to books, cats are on them like white on mice. Save for the fact that my apartment is (thankfully) rodent free, I’d almost wonder if my cats loved books more than mice. In fact, I think Timba currently has taken on the official role of mama’s Book Marker.
Captured here is my current read, and while not a long Dean Koontz or Stephen King novel, I seem to be taking a longer than usual time to get through it. I really enjoy it and recommend it, and would definitely read more diligently if, well, my book marker weren’t so prominent and cute.
The Poisonwood Bible is a work of fiction that chronicles a missionary family’s time in the Congo. While fiction, it is very close to truth. I can see everything in the book actually happening. It probably isn’t a Christian book. It isn’t a bash on Christianity either, however, it does expose harmful brands of Christianity and their detrimental effects upon relationships.
The story is told through alternating the chapters in the voice of the mother and three daughters. The characters are funny and insightful despite the portrait of a sad reality in Christian missions history: the blending of evangelism and colonialism and the forceful imposing of one culture upon another.
The father in the story is an overbearing, dominating, self-willed and driven preacher who has no concept of relational or cultural intelligence. He is bent on staying in the Congo in the midst of political upheaval so that he can ‘do the Lord’s will’ and be the ‘good and faithful servant’, all the while having no idea that he is profaning the heart of Love and squashing the spirit of his wife and daughters.
I am approximately halfway through, and the author foreshadows terrible tragedy as a result of this father’s will. I get a sense that some form of redemption may come of it despite what loss lies ahead. It is incredibly well written, with strong and defined life-like characters. It yields a wisdom that can benefit people on all ends of the spectrum in terms of their perspective on Christianity or religion in general. It is ultimately a portrait of our common humanity, that lesser and greater which lives in us all, that conflicting duality of good and bad.
So here is my first book review, and I hope some of you will pick up a copy and journey with me into the heart of the jungle. I am thankful someone recommended the book and even bought if for me, so while I cannot progress through it as quickly as I’d like (ahem, Mr. Timbavati), I will definitely plot out some time this weekend to get a few more chapters down the road.
Then I can sift through my bookshelf and get to the stack of Stephen King greats that I’ve purchased over the past several weeks. I’ve only read one of his novels so far, Bag of Bones, and am completely enamored with his mastery of words and depth of understanding. But somehow, something tells me I’m going to have to fight my way to the bookshelf, for even from a distance, cats and books are entwined, bound to be together, and always for the better 🙂