The author of The Poisonwood Bible returns with her first novel in nine years, The Lacuna. Below, a refresher course in the richly drawn characters and tangled cultural crossings of Kingsolver's fiction.
By Jessica Winter
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The Poisonwood Bible (1998)
The gist: A white missionary and his family arrive in the Belgian Congo on the brink of its independence in 1959.
The culture shock: The pastor's blind determination to "enlighten" a Congolese village has awful results for both the native people and his family.
The big question: How do you atone for the sins of the father?