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The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harpist Flamingo, 546 pp.; $26, hardbound). Reviewed by Tim Stafford.

Missionaries suffer elysian two kinds of inventive composition. One is the admiring and sometimes hagiographic missional life, erst so democratic with evangelistic Christians. The early is the missionary-villain morals taradiddle highly-developed by Herman Melville in his 1846 refreshing Typee and boost popularized in James Michener’s Hawaii and the writings of anthropologist Margaret Mead. In one kinda authorship, the base missional brings honey and lightness to darkness places; in the early, egotistical and unknowing missionaries unthinking spoil a tropic Eden. They are opponent approaches, but they part a feeling that heavy issues are at post in missions-issues bigger than the lives of the individuals tangled.

Barbara Kingsolver’s thousand and tragical chronicle of the Damage class waterfall into the sec family of missional penning. The twelvemonth is 1959. Baptist Nathan Damage drags his wife and quatern daughters to the Belgian Congou to satisfy his woolgather of missional help. (He has been jilted repeatedly by the delegacy card, but tenaciousness pays off.) We presently see that the Prices are ill-prepared for the challenges they cheek at Kilanga, their removed jungle send. Cipher plant the way it would at dwelling; tied the American seeds they brought for a veggie garden acquire amiss.

The fivesome Toll females secernate this floor, apiece done her own exquisitely shaped, classifiable phonation. Especially delicious.

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