The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible

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Leah Price Character Analysis

The daughter of Nathaniel and Orleanna Price, and the twin sister of Adah Price, Leah is an intelligent, energetic young woman who over the course of the novel grows into a passionate defender of human rights. When the novel begins, Leah is adjusting to her new life in the Congo, where her father has moved to work as a missionary. She slowly begins to educate herself in the ways of Congolese culture, developing a deep respect for her neighbors’ way of life. At the same time, Leah struggles with a strong sense of guilt at being the descendant of Europeans—i.e., the people who enslaved and tortured the people of the Congo for centuries. Leah channels her passion for the Congolese (and, it must be said, her guilt) into a career as a schoolteacher in the Congo. While she continues to feel guilty at being a white American among Africans, she never lets this affect her loving relationship with Anatole Ngemba—an intelligent, equally passionate devotee of human rights.

Leah Price Quotes in The Poisonwood Bible

The The Poisonwood Bible quotes below are all either spoken by Leah Price or refer to Leah Price . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom, Growth, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harper Perennial edition of The Poisonwood Bible published in 1999.
Book 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

Several days later, once Father had regained his composure and both his eyes, he assured me that Mama Tataba hadn’t meant to ruin our demonstration garden. There was such a thing as native customs, he said. We would need the patience of Job. “She’s only trying to help, in her way,” he said.

Related Characters: Nathaniel Price (speaker), Leah Price (speaker), Mama Tataba
Related Symbols: The Hills of Soil
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

Early on in their time in the Congo, the Prices set to work planting seeds on their property. Nathan—a boorish, tyrannical man—refuses to take any advice from Mama Tataba, an experienced Congolese woman, even after Tataba points out that Nathan is planting seeds the wrong way. Tataba insists that Nathan should makes piles of soil to protect against rain—Nathan, who’s been planting seeds since he was a child, insists that Tataba is wrong. When Mama Tataba deliberately re-plants every single seed in the garden, Nathan condescendingly says that Mama Tataba is just “trying to help.” Nathan is a pompous, arrogant man, who thinks he’s far more talented and competent than he really is. He “forgives” those like Tataba who try to help him, not realizing how good their advice really is. In a broader sense, one could say that the passage is a metaphor for the way that the continent of Africa was managed for many years: ignorant colonial leaders from the U.S. and Europe governed the Congo and other countries, convinced that they knew what was best for Africa, but actually doing more harm than good.

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Book 1, Chapter 10 Quotes

Once in a great while we just have to protect her. Even back when we were very young I remember running to throw my arms around Mother’s knees when he regaled her with words and worse, for curtains unclosed or slips showing—the sins of womanhood. We could see early on that all grown-ups aren’t equally immune to damage. My father wears his faith like the bronze breastplate of God’s foot soldiers, while our mother’s is more like a good cloth coat with a secondhand fit.

Related Characters: Nathaniel Price (speaker), Leah Price (speaker), Orleanna Price
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Leah Price paints a tragic picture of life in the Price household. Nathan is the only man at home, but he's also in charge—and he has a rigid, sexist view of domestic life. The result is that whenever his wife or daughters do anything wrong, he's quick to yell at them or even hit them for their "sins of womanhood." Leah, her mother, and her siblings must join together to protect themselves from Nathan—and yet at this point, Leah still admires and loves her father greatly.

The passage closes with an interesting analogy; Nathan's faith, it's implied, is proud and militaristic. From what we've seen, Leah is right on target: Nathan is aggressive in his faith, and seems to think of himself as being superior to the people around him. Orleanna, Nathan's wife, is a religious woman, but she doesn't rub her religion in other people's faces, and she seems to have some objections to Christianity (it fits her second-hand, suggesting that she's only remained a Christian because of her family and her husband).

Book 2, Chapter 15 Quotes

The boys said, “Patrice Lumumba!” I told Leah that means the new soul of Africa, and he’s gone to jail and Jesus is real mad about it. I told her all that! I was the youngest one but I knew it. I lay so still against the tree branch I was just the same everything as the tree. I was like a green mamba snake. Poison. I could be right next to you and you wouldn’t ever know it.

Related Characters: Ruth May Price (speaker), Leah Price , Patrice Lumumba
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Ruth May describes the Congolese enthusiasm for Patrice Lumumba, the young, charismatic leader who rose to become the President of the Congo before his assassination. Here, nobody has any idea that Lumumba is going to die—as far as the Congolese are concerned, Lumumba is a savior. (In real life, Lumumba was an extremely popular leader, famed for his brave opposition to Western colonialism in Africa.)

And yet although neither Ruth May nor we know that Lumumba is doomed, there's plenty of foreshadowing that unfolds upon a second reading of the novel. Lumumba's danger is paired with the image of Ruth May as a green mamba—a very venomous snake. (Later on, Ruth May will die from a mamba bite on the same day that Lumumba is assassinated, emphasizing the connection between their fates.)

Book 3, Chapter 33 Quotes

But where is the place for girls in that Kingdom? The rules don’t quite apply to us, nor protect us either. What do a girl’s bravery and righteousness count for, unless she is also pretty? Just try being the smartest and most Christian seventh-grade girl in Bethlehem, Georgia. Your classmates will smirk and call you a square. Call you worse, if you’re Adah.

Related Characters: Leah Price (speaker), Adah Price
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Leah Price struggles with her Christian faith. Leah—who's always been Nathan's biggest fan—has learned from her father to work hard studying the Bible. But Leah also knows that studying the Bible doesn't count for much among her peers. No matter how pious and well-studied she is, her classmates in Georgia treat her like a square—all they care about is how pretty she is.

In short, Leah is beginning to doubt the lessons her father has always taught her. Although Nathan claims that Christian faith is sufficient to let a woman into Heaven, Leah has begun to notice that Nathan—and, for that matter, everyone else in her life—doesn't judge women according to their Christian faith at all. Nathan treats women like second-class citizens, no matter how learned or pious they are. Leah begins to realize that Christianity doesn't go far enough in addressing sexism. Eventually, Leah will turn to politics and the radical left as a way of addressing the bigotry of her society.

Book 4, Chapter 55 Quotes

And so it came to pass that the normal, happy event of dividing food after a hunt became a war of insults and rage and starving bellies. There should have been more than enough for every family. But as we circled to receive our share of providence, the fat flanks of the magnificent beasts we’d stalked on the hill shrank to parched sinew, the gristle of drought-starved carcasses. Abundance disappeared before our eyes. Where there was plenty, we suddenly saw not enough. Even little children slapped their friends and stole caterpillars from each other’s baskets. Sons shouted at their fathers. Women declared elections and voted against their husbands. The elderly men whose voices hardly rose above a whisper, because they were so used to being listened to, were silenced completely in the ruckus. Tata Kuvudundu looked bedraggled and angry. His white robe was utterly blackened with ash. He raised his hands and once again swore his prophecy that the animals and all of nature were rising up against us.

Related Characters: Leah Price (speaker), Tata Kuvudundu
Page Number: 354
Explanation and Analysis:

In this long scene, Kingsolver offers us an allegory of capitalism. The Congolese village has successfully completed a huge hunt: the hunters have killed a large number of wild animals, with the help of the children, the women, etc. In short, everybody has earned their equal share of the food. But instead of dividing the food equally, the villagers quibble over portion sizes. People greedily take too much, meaning that other people are given too little. Over time, a scarcity arises—somehow, there's not enough food to go around. Just like in a capitalist society (at least according to Kingsolver), the competition for more results in an overall deterioration of social relations: the villagers become each other's enemies.

It's important to note that the hunting scene arrives shortly before the assassination of Patrice Lumumba—the political tragedy that will usher in an era of rampant capitalism and foreign investment in the Congo. Kingsolver foreshadows the economic depression and social breakdown that Lumumba's death will ultimately cause.

Book 5, Chapter 68 Quotes

Neto is about Anatole’s age, also educated by missionaries. He’d already gone abroad to study medicine and returned home to open a clinic, where his own people could get decent care, but it didn’t work out. A gang of white policemen dragged him out of his clinic one day, beat him half to death, and carted him off to prison. The crowds that turned up to demand his release got cut down like trees by machine-gun fire. Not only that, but the Portuguese army went out burning villages to the ground, to put a damper on Neto’s popularity. Yet, the minute he got out of prison, he started attracting droves of people to an opposition party in Angola.

Related Characters: Leah Price (speaker), Anatole Ngemba , Agostinho Neto
Page Number: 431-432
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Leah describes the life she's made for herself after Ruth May's death (the event that broke up her family). Years have passed, and Leah is now married to Anatole Ngemba, the young man who tutored her when she first arrived in the Congo. Anatole has been in correspondence with Agostinho Neto, a young, ambitious political leader who sees himself as the successor to Patrice Lumumba. Like Lumumba, Neto is enormously popular with the people of the Congo (and Angola), though he alienates the government with his socialist views.

Leah's impressions of Neto suggest how political she's become since Ruth May's death. By marrying Anatole, Leah has committed to a lifetime of political engagement: support for Neto and other elected leaders, and general investment in the wellbeing of the Congo. Although Leah is clearly shocked by the way the government has treated Neto, she has a quiet optimism that Neto will succeed in his political goals—he has enough supporters to guarantee his success in the long run.

Book 5, Chapter 70 Quotes

“He is the one wife belonging to many white men.” Anatole explained it this way: Like a princess in a story, Congo was born too rich for her own good, and attracted attention far and “wide from men “who desire to rob her blind. The United States has now become the husband of Zaire’s economy, and not a very nice one. Exploitive and condescending, in the name of steering her clear of the moral decline inevitable to her nature. “Oh, I understand that kind of marriage all right,” I said. “I grew up witnessing one just like it.”

Related Characters: Leah Price (speaker), Anatole Ngemba
Page Number: 456
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Anatole (Leah's husband) gives Leah an analogy to explain the troubled history of the Congo. Anatole suggests that the Congo is like a beautiful but fragile woman, exploited by various powerful men (Belgium, Europe, the U.S.). Anatole implies that the Congo, while full of resources and strong, intelligent people, has never been allowed to grow to its full potential. Like a housewife forbidden from pursuing her own dreams, the Congo has been held in captivity, forced to work for others.

It's important to note Leah's reaction to Anatole's story—she immediately sees an analogy between the Congo and Orleanna's marriage to Nathan. At one point, Leah admired her father, but now she sees him for the hypocrite he is. Nathan has held Orleanna in "captivity" for years, ignoring her feelings and forcing her to serve him. Furthermore, Nathan has justified his behavior by accusing Orleanna of being weak and sinful--i.e., he's used Christian dogma to hold Orleanna accountable for her sinful femininity.

In short, the passage is something like a "thesis statement" for the novel itself. By studying the close, intimate relationship between Nathan and his wife and children, Kingsolver suggests, we can better understand the broad, historical relationship between the Congo and the international community.

Book 5, Chapter 73 Quotes

“Oh, Rachel, Rachel,” Leah said. “Let me give you a teeny little lesson in political science. Democracy and dictatorship are political systems; they have to do with who participates in the leadership. Socialism and capitalism are economic systems. It has to do with who owns the wealth of your nation, and who gets to eat. Can you grasp that?”

Related Characters: Rachel Price (speaker), Leah Price (speaker)
Page Number: 478
Explanation and Analysis:

Years after Ruth May's death, the remaining Price sisters reunite in Africa. During their trip across the continent, Rachel claims that the socialists of the Congo are immoral and un-American, and that Ronald Reagan is going to install democracy and freedom in the country. Leah, clearly impatient with her sister's small-mindedness, corrects her sarcastically, pointing out that socialism and democracy are unrelated concepts—one doesn't exclude the other.

Leah's exchange with her sister shows how ignorant Rachel is of the realities of global politics: Rachel is totally willing to believe that socialism is un-American, simply because Ronald Reagan says so. As teenagers, Leah and Rachel were equally ignorant of politics and economics, but now that they're adults, it's clear that they've grown apart, intellectually and emotionally.

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Leah Price Character Timeline in The Poisonwood Bible

The timeline below shows where the character Leah Price appears in The Poisonwood Bible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 2
Freedom, Growth, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
Women and Sexism Theme Icon
Leah Price describes how her family traveled from Bethlehem, Georgia all the way to the jungle.... (full context)
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...many bags, but she also smuggles some supplies of her own, including nail polish, which Leah considers “Rachel to a T.” On the plane, Rachel jokes with Adah, her sister. When... (full context)
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
...good healthcare and a regular outpost of missionaries. Currently, though, Kilanga is “in a slump.” Leah is intimidated by the prospects of Kilanga. (full context)
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As Nathan speaks with Mr. Underdown, Mrs. Underdown playfully makes fun of Leah and her siblings for their thick Southern accents. Leah feels sensitive and self-conscious about her... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 4
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Out of the crowd, Rachel takes a good look at her siblings: the twins (Leah and Adah) and Ruth May. Adah is shorter than Leah because of her “handicap.” Together,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 5
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Adah considers her “condition,” which has left her so different from Leah, despite the fact that they’re technically identical twins. Adah imagines herself and Leah competing for... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6
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Leah watches as her sisters explore their new home. Ruth May is scared of the neighbors,... (full context)
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...growing in a garden outside the house. He rips up the grass without thinking, and Leah is disgusted. She notes that Nathan thinks of himself as “the captain of a sinking... (full context)
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Nathan asks Leah why God gives mankind seeds instead of providing him with his nourishment in an easier... (full context)
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Nathan proceeds to spend the afternoon farming his small square of soil, and Leah feels inspired to work hard for God and for her father. But she considers the... (full context)
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As she thinks about her father, Leah notices Mama Tataba, an elderly woman who’s been sent to help the Prices with their... (full context)
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...Mama Tataba is just trying to help, in her way, and then re-flattens the soil. Leah admires that her father is so forgiving of other people. Leah is also impressed with... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 9
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Adah quizzes Leah in Bible verses. She gives Leah the verse, “Neither diabolical nor divine,” but the question... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 10
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...Nathan finds this infuriating, and he demands to know who taught the bird that word. Leah feels extremely guilty, especially after her father reminds her that the parrot will never be... (full context)
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As Leah copies verses, she hopes that Nathan took Rachel’s comment as a confession. Secretly, though, Leah... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 12
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Leah notices that Nathan prays and thinks alone in the garden. Later, he tells Leah about... (full context)
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...August, Nathan preaches about baptism. Later in the day, Mama Tataba yells at Nathan, though Leah can’t hear what they’re arguing about. Later, Mama tells everyone that she can’t stay any... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14
Freedom, Growth, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
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...the Price family was forced to learn the names of all the plants and trees, Leah remembers. Leah was especially interested in learning the new words. The daughters learned from books... (full context)
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Leah is now 15 years old, and continues to immerse herself in African life and culture.... (full context)
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Orleanna insists that Adah and Leah continue with their schoolwork, even though there’s no school for them to attend. Every morning,... (full context)
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Leah is more interested in playing outside than her siblings. She wishes she could spend more... (full context)
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Leah describes the big outdoor markets in the village. There’s a hairdresser named Mama Lo who... (full context)
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One day, Leah returns from spying on Axelroot to find Ruth May playing “Mother May I?” (a children’s... (full context)
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It occurs to Leah that Pascal lives in another world from herself. He’s never really had a childhood; in... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 15
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...of the young boys in the community shout the name “Patrice Lumumba!” Ruth May tells Leah that Lumumba represents the new soul of Africa. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 17
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One afternoon, Leah and Adah go to gather water. This is tough for Adah, since she only has... (full context)
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Adah makes it back to the house, with Leah walking far ahead of her, bearing the buckets of water. When Adah returns to the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 18
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...for the Prices. He brings water and boils it so that Orleanna doesn’t have to. Leah assumes that Anatole sent Nelson to the Prices because they own so many books, and... (full context)
Freedom, Growth, and Coming-of-age Theme Icon
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...rains heavily, meaning that diseases spread more easily. As a result, the children stay indoors. Leah develops a fever—she’s caught malaria, and spends the next few weeks confined to her bed. (full context)
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At the end of the year, for Christmas, Orleanna gives her children needlework equipment. Leah begins to think about the possibility of getting married someday. She complains that she’s flat-chested... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 19
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...one foot out.” Ruth May isn’t sure what this means. Ruth May also notices that Leah has taken an owl for a pet, something that annoys both Nelson and Pascal—they claim... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 20
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...is annoyed that Nathan always acts like he can predict the future. She also notices Leah, standing very close to Nathan. Rachel remembers that Nathan beat Leah for trying to keep... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 23
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Ruth May reports that Nathan and Leah flew away “on the plane.” This isn’t Axelroot’s plane, but a special charter plane, one... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 24
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Leah and Nathan have patched things up, Leah claims. They’re going to Leopoldville together instead of... (full context)
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Leah overhears people talking about King Leopold, the Belgian leader who made the Congo “what it... (full context)
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...that Belgium has given the Congo 80 years of pain and exploitation. As he speaks, Leah thinks about the splendors of Leopoldville, a large city with beautiful white buildings, and then... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 27
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Leah and Nathan fly from Leopoldville to Kilanga. When they’re back at home, Leah is very... (full context)
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Leah notices that Rachel seems particularly pale. “Mvula”—the Congolese word for pale—has become Rachel’s nickname in... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 30
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...feverish. Nathan ignores them, however. He just continues with his preaching, leaving Adah, Rachel, and Leah to take care of his wife and daughter. (full context)
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Rachel works with Adah and Leah to figure out how the family will survive from now on. They’ll need to boil... (full context)
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...but these phases are always short-lived (Rachel is only 16 months older than Adah and Leah, anyway). (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 31
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After some three weeks, Leah manages to get Ruth May out of bed, in spite of her sickness. Leah reads... (full context)
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Leah continues talking to Anatole. They laugh and joke before Anatole tells Leah the other reason... (full context)
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Anatole continues to explain the situation to Leah: Moise Tshombe has Belgians working for him. There are wars going on throughout the country,... (full context)
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Leah asks Anatole if the U.S. will intervene to prevent civil war. Anatole says that the... (full context)
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Leah mentions that Axelroot dislikes Lumumba, and Anatole tells Leah that he thinks Axelroot is “trouble... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 33
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While Ruth May continues to be sick, Orleanna gets better. Leah wonders if she’s accidentally made Ruth May sicker, so she prays to God, apologizing for... (full context)
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...disease. She speaks her mind to Nathan more often, and seems more energetic. This makes Leah more eager to question Nathan’s authority as well—she wonders where women fit into heaven. She... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 34
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...changed in the Congo since he was a missionary here. Bird proceeds to talk with Leah about the Bible. He points out that the Bible is the product of man as... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 36
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Leah explains the Prices’ problem: if they turn down Tata Ndu’s offer of marriage, Ndu will... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 40
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Everyone in the village thinks Rachel is actually engaged to Eeben Axelroot. Meanwhile, Leah has begun studying languages with Anatole, and she also teaches Anatole’s students in the mornings.... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 41
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Leah studies Anatole’s face as she studies her French in the schoolhouse. She can’t help but... (full context)
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...the most powerful nation in the world, one that is deliberately starving the Congo. When Leah says that this is ridiculous, Anatole explains that the Congolese “do things differently.” In the... (full context)
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Leah tries to describe life in the U.S. to Anatole. She says that most people live... (full context)
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Leah and Anatole continue discussing Nathan. Anatole admits that he doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ’s divinity—he... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 44
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Late at night, Leah wakes up to the sound of cries from the streets. She rushes outside, where she... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 48
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Leah rushes toward the river, noticing that Anatole is behind her, carrying Adah. He explains that... (full context)
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Leah is inspired to ask Anatole, point-blank, about his politics. She points out that he’s involved... (full context)
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Suddenly, Leah begins to cry. She says, “I love you, Anatole.” Anatole replies, “Don’t ever say that... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 50
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...of months for the Prices, with the drought, Ruth May’s illness, and the ants. Lately, Leah has also been unimpressed with Nathan’s enthusiasm for the Bible. One Sunday in church, Nathan... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 51
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Rachel claims that Leah is the cause of the Prices’ problems. Lately, Leah has been talking back to Nathan—a... (full context)
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Leah’s participation in the hunt was the subject of much debate. Her friends Nelson and Anatole... (full context)
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Nathan was adamantly opposed to Leah’s hunting. He warned her that she must not participate, no matter what the vote was.... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 53
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During the hunt, Leah killed her first game—a “beautiful tawny beast.” Leah is overjoyed with her success, but during... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 55
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Leah thinks back to the day of the hunt—a day that should have been glorious, but... (full context)
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...in Orleanna’s arms. Meanwhile, a few of the hunters, led by Tata Kuvudundu, argue that Leah shouldn’t have been hunting at all, in spite of her talent with a bow. When... (full context)
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...village taking sides. As the fighting escalates, the Prices take their share of meat, reversing Leah’s stubbornness, and return to their house. Leah notices Tata Kuvudundu, shouting about how the animals... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 56
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...within a few moments, she gives in and begins eating antelope meat. She watches as Leah and Nathan wage a “war” with each other. Nathan tells Leah that she’s disobeyed him,... (full context)
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...he’s been worshipping “false idols.” Nelson goes back out to the chicken house, very glum. Leah, sympathetic to Nelson, decides to go outside to help him defeat the “omen.” She asks... (full context)
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Outside, Leah and Adah help Nelson, who’s seen a snake near the chicken house, and is suspicious... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 57
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Adah, Nelson, and Leah wake up early the next morning, hoping to catch the supposed intruder in their chicken... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 58
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Leah, staring at the chicken house, hears a sudden gulp—it’s Ruth May, who’s secretly been climbing... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 60
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Rachel has just learned from Leah and Adah that Ruth May is dead. Rachel, as the eldest child, decides that she... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 61
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Leah describes how Orleanna takes the news of Ruth May’s death. She’s eerily calm, as if... (full context)
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Outside, Nelson is making a “funeral arch” out of leaves. Leah and her sisters pray to God for Ruth May’s soul, mostly out of habit. It... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 63
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...Price family is in the process of traveling to Bulungu (it’s not immediately explained why). Leah considers everything that’s happened recently. Adah told her about the strange man she’s seen meeting... (full context)
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...trouble walking for long periods of time, and Rachel is unusually quiet. On the walk, Leah considers why Nathan isn’t traveling with the rest of the family: he refuses to abandon... (full context)
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...They catch fevers shortly afterwards, and yet their visit to Bulungu is full of “celebration.” Leah stays in a hut that belongs to a student of Anatole. While sick, she receives... (full context)
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Leah explains what happens in the following weeks. Orleanna and Adah leave Leopoldville, returning to the... (full context)
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Anatole takes care of Leah. Leah thinks about how their “relationship” has changed lately—they sleep in the same bed, albeit... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 65
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...left for Leopoldville. Adah was convinced that Orleanna would leave her behind and travel with Leah, but just the opposite ended up happening. Adah decides that taking her out of Africa... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 66
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Leah now lives in a nunnery, where she’s earned the nickname “the Mine Sweeper.” Her husband,... (full context)
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Leah explains what happened after she arrived in Bulungu with her family. She caught a horrible... (full context)
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Leah has heard from Tata Boanda and others that Nathan hasn’t been doing well lately. He... (full context)
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After Leah’s condition improved, she and Anatole traveled to Stanleyville, where Lumumba still had popular support. There,... (full context)
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Leah has been living with the nuns for a while. She work in a hospital, treating... (full context)
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Leah talks to one of her fellow workers, a nun named Therese. Therese claims that Leah... (full context)
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Leah receives news of fighting in Stanleyville. An international group of soldiers from Belgium and the... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 68
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Leah stands outside a train station and remembers all the things that have happened to her... (full context)
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After being released from prison, Anatole and Leah moved to the town of Bikoki, where Anatole lived as a child. Recently, Leah reunited... (full context)
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Leah faces the truth: she’s lost her family, one member at a time. She can only... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 69
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Adah also reports that Leah is living in Atlanta with Anatole and their son Pascal (Adah’s nephew). Adah greatly admires... (full context)
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Adah admits that she rarely sees Leah and Anatole, since she’s busy with medical school. She works in a hospital, delivering babies.... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 70
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Leah reports that the Congo has changed altogether, and all the old cities have new names.... (full context)
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Leah notices an issue of the Saturday Evening Post in the package, and she knows right... (full context)
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We now cut to the school where Leah teaches. One of her pupils says that she’s dropping out of school to “work at... (full context)
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On her own, Leah thinks about her options for the future. She and her family could stay in the... (full context)
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Anatole tells Leah that the Congo has fallen on hard times, even by the country’s low standards. The... (full context)
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Leah has taken on a new identity in Kinshasa. She’s now Mrs. Ngemba, a schoolteacher. Many... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 71
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...away. But Rachel sometimes thinks about her sisters. They never visit her, even though some (Leah) aren’t very far away at all. She imagines her sisters surveying her hotel. Leah would... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 72
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Anatole is in prison once again, Leah begins—he’s been arrested for his defiance of Mobutu, as well as for his education. Leah... (full context)
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Leah’s children have all seen Atlanta, and love it. Coming back from one visit, Anatole’s passport... (full context)
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Leah is extremely lonely now. She takes care of her children in Anatole’s absence, but can’t... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 73
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...reunion with her sisters, but she’s nervous about it. Rachel has been in contact with Leah, who reports that the government is, unexpectedly, going to let Anatole out of jail within... (full context)
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...she describes the trip in detail, Rachel notes that at the end of the month, Leah reunited with Anatole—she embraced Anatole with palpable love and tenderness, and then drove back to... (full context)
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The trip through West Africa, Rachel reports, is tough. Rachel bickers with Leah constantly. Rachel wants to stay in upscale places, while Leah wants somewhere cheaper. Rachel argues... (full context)
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...the King of Abomey had dozens of wives. This reminds Rachel of her three husbands. Leah and Adah begin to talk about Nathan. Adah claims that she got word that Nathan... (full context)
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The sisters proceed in silence for a few hours. Then Leah begins talking about Nathan again. Reverend Fowles has told Leah that “Tata Prize” (as Nathan... (full context)
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Rachel tries to comfort Leah. She tells Leah that while Leah loved Nathan more than Nathan’s other daughters, Nathan was... (full context)
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The sisters move on to talk about politics in Zaire. Leah continues talking about Mobutu’s tyranny, and Rachel shouts at Leah for telling a “sob story.”... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 74
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When Adah returns to Georgia from Africa, she sees Orleanna right away. She reports that Leah and Rachel are doing all right—Leah is thin, and Rachel has barely changed. Adah tells... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 75
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Leah now has four children: Pascal, Patrice, Martin-Lothaire, and Nathaniel. Each son is named after a... (full context)
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Leah remembers how, ten years ago, it briefly seemed like the tribes of Angola would finally... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 77
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It’s been thirty years since Leah gave birth to her first child. She lies in bed with Anatole, talking about the... (full context)
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For ten years, Leah and Anatole have lived in Angola on an agricultural station. Angola is now an independent... (full context)
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Leah often thinks about her father. If she could tell Nathan one thing, she would offer... (full context)