Disclaimer: Very Mary is a 30-year old English teacher at a small community college in rural Ohio. Her choice of reading material may or may not be shared and/or endorsed by other 30-year olds, English teachers, community colleges, and/or rural Ohioans. The views expressed within this post are strictly those of Very Mary.
Very Mary is Very Behind the times in her reading. She almost always purchases her books at thrift shops or yard sales where she never pays more than $1, and she's at least three solid years behind the "popular" reading curve. Perhaps this is why she just finished this book:
Very Mary realizes there's a whole lot of to-do about Kingsolver's latest book, but she can't comment on it as of yet because she hasn't seen it at Goodwill. However, Very Mary definitely recommends The Poisonwood Bible, which came highly recommended to her.
As a former Southern Baptist, Very Mary typicallyshies away from books dealing with any of these topics: baptists, church, god, or baptists in church praising god. If you happen to be a god-praising baptist, she likes you just the same, but please do not invite Very Mary to go to church with you. She has had her sins pointed out enough times, and she does not want to watch a sweaty preacher turn red in the face while he shouts about how everyone except the baptists are bound for hell. Also, Very Mary does not want to go door-to-door witnessing with you, but she will happily meet you for lunch instead.
Anyhow. When Very Mary read the first chapter and realized that The Poisonwood Bible chronicles the life of a baptist preacher and his family as they take a mission trip to Africa, she thought "uh-oh". That view, however, quickly turned around as she read subsequent chapters, each written by a different member of the preacher's family. Luckily, readers never have to hear from the wacko preacher. And he is really wacko, and he reminds Very Mary of every baptist preacher she ever met.
It's written so well that Very Mary felt as if she was reading a journal, not a novel. She was so engrossed with the tale that she stayed up until 5:30 a.m. on Thursday night (or Friday morning, rather) to finish it. It is that Very Good. Readers will find out what happens when one mixes baptist missionary work with the fight for Conglaese independence. Very Mary's sympathies extended to the preacher's wife, and she wanted so badly for her to have a healthy prescription of anti-depressants along with her malaria medication. She also wanted to kick that wacko preacher in his gonads, plus she wanted to fly right into 1960's Africa and save the preacher's children.
This book made Very Mary laugh, cry, gasp, celebrate, grow angry, but most of all, it made her think. And Very Mary is all about a book that really makes her think. A book that opens up her mind and shows her a point of view that she had never in her whole 30 years on this planet considered. And this book? It is still giving Very Mary pause.