The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible

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Orleanna Price Character Analysis

The quiet, long-suffering wife of Nathaniel Price. Orleanna is a deep-thinking, intelligent woman, but because of her husband’s boorish behavior, she’s often forced to hide her own talents from others—especially in the Congo. Nevertheless, she feels boundless love for her four children, Leah, Rachel, Adah, and Ruth May, making sure they receive all the food and education they need. When Ruth May is killed by a snake in Africa, Orleanna falls into a deep depression, and never entirely forgives herself. Rather than endanger her family any further, she gathers her children and leaves Africa altogether. She spends the rest of her life devoted to the Civil Rights Movement in the Southern United States—a poignant reminder of her ongoing struggle to forgive herself for Ruth May’s death.

Orleanna Price Quotes in The Poisonwood Bible

The The Poisonwood Bible quotes below are all either spoken by Orleanna Price or refer to Orleanna 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 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).

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Book 1, Chapter 11 Quotes

“That road,” said our mother, bemused, gesturing with a lazy bent wrist out the window. “Why, I can’t imagine.” She shook her head, possibly not believing. Can she allow herself not to believe him? I have never known. “It was at the end of a dry season, Orleanna,” he snapped. “When it’s hot enough the puddles dry up.” You brainless nitwit, he did not need to add.

Related Characters: Nathaniel Price (speaker), Orleanna Price (speaker), Adah Price (speaker)
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage offers a good example of the way that Nathaniel belittles his family and keeps his wife "in line." When Orleanna asks a natural question, Nathan shoots back with an angry, irritable reply, sending a clear message that Orleanna should keep quiet.

It's interesting to consider that while Kingsolver's novel is full of scenes like this one, in which Nathan uses words in an almost violent way, there's no actual domestic violence in the novel. Kingsolver suggests that Nathan does the greatest damage to his wife and children by making them doubt their own intelligence and competence—snapping at them again and again until they've been trained to be quiet and obedient.

Book 2, Chapter 13 Quotes

The likes of Eleanor Roosevelt declared we ought to come forth with aid and bring those poor children into the twentieth century. And yet Mr. George F. Kennan, the retired diplomat, allowed that he felt “not the faintest moral responsibility for Africa.” It’s not our headache, he said. Let them go Communist if they feel like it. It was beyond me to weigh such matters, when my doorstep harbored snakes that could knock a child dead by spitting in her eyes.

Related Characters: Orleanna Price (speaker)
Page Number: 95-96
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Orleanna, reflecting on her time in the Congo, thinks about the United States's relationship with Africa. Years before, when Orleanna and Nathan were both in the Congo, the U.S. had a conflicted relationship with Africa. Some diplomats believed that foreign aid to the continent would be pointless, while some like Eleanor Roosevelt pointed out the country's moral responsibility to help the Third World. It's important to note that Kingsolver portrays women as being more sympathetic to foreigners' pain than men—an idea that generally plays out in the novel.

For the time being, Orleanna sees no real connection between her own situation and that of the Africans—in other words, there's no experiential overlap between her life and the Congolese villagers'. Over the course of the novel, Orleanna will reevaluate her relationship with the Congo, seeing a great similarity between the Congolese sense of helplessness and submission and her own. 

Book 3, Chapter 26 Quotes

My downfall was not predicted. I didn’t grow up looking for ravishment or rescue, either one. My childhood was a happy one in its own bedraggled way. My mother died when I was quite young, and certainly a motherless girl will come up wanting in some respects, but in my opinion she has a freedom unknown to other daughters. For every womanly fact of life she doesn’t get told, a star of possibility still winks for her on the horizon.

Related Characters: Orleanna Price (speaker)
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

In the prologue to Book 3, Orleanna thinks back on her early life before she met Nathan. As a young girl, Orleanna lost her mother; yet she doesn't think of her mother's death as a great tragedy. Rather, Orleanna thinks of being motherless as a gift: a motherless woman, she suggests, is "free."

There's a lot to unpack here. First of all, it's important to note that Orleanna is looking back on her childhood: there's a sad, melancholy tone here, the tone of an older woman thinking back on her mistakes. Second, we should note that Orleanna is trying to see the "bright side" of life: instead of treating her mother's untimely death as a life-ruining tragedy, she thinks of the advantages of being motherless. Orleanna is experienced with finding silver linings: when she analyzes the changes in the Congo, for example, she refuses to accept tragedies as tragic—instead, she tries to find the hidden blessing. Finally, Orleanna's thoughts in this passage suggest her guilt about the way she's treated her own children: i.e, the fact that she sees motherlessness as an advantage suggests that she sees her own relationship with her children as being negative. As we'll see, Orleanna blames herself for allowing Ruth May to die and for being a poor role model for her daughters.

Book 3, Chapter 35 Quotes

Nelson squatted on his heels, his ashy eyelids blinking earnestly as he inspected Mother’s face. Surprisingly, she started to laugh. Then, more surprisingly, Nelson began to laugh, too. He threw open his near-toothless mouth and howled alongside Mother, both of them with their hands on their thighs. I expect they were picturing Rachel wrapped in a pagne trying to pound manioc. Mother wiped her eyes. “Why on earth do you suppose he’d pick Rachel?” From her voice I could tell she was not smiling, even after all that laughter. “He says the Mvula’s, strange color would cheer up his other wives.”

Related Characters: Orleanna Price (speaker), Adah Price (speaker), Lekuyu / Nelson (speaker), Tata Ndu
Page Number: 263
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Tata Ndu, the leader of the Congolese village where the Prices live now, has asked for Rachel's hand in marriage. The Prices are shocked by Ndu's request, not least because Ndu already has many other wives. Here, Orleanna and Nelson laugh about the absurdity of the situation. Nelson points out that Ndu wants to marry Rachel not because he loves her, but because her skin and hair color will complement that of his other wives.

The passage is important because it reminds us of the sexism in Kingala—a parallel to the sexism in Nathan's own household. Evidently, Ndu thinks of women as objects to be collected, rather than people. Orleanna, even though she laughs at the absurdity of the situation, becomes serious as she contemplates Ndu's "desire" for her daughter. Orleanna's aim is always to protect her children, and here she realizes that her child is in danger of being "bought" by the sexist leader of the village.

Book 4, Chapter 49 Quotes

Oh, it’s a fine and useless enterprise, trying to fix destiny. That trail leads straight back to the time before we ever lived, and into that deep well it’s easy to cast curses like stones on our ancestors. But that’s nothing more than cursing ourselves and all that made us. Had I not married a preacher named Nathan Price, my particular children would never have seen the light of this world. I walked through the valley of my fate, is all, and learned to love what I could lose.

Related Characters: Orleanna Price (speaker), Nathaniel Price
Page Number: 324
Explanation and Analysis:

In this chapter, Orleanna thinks about the tragedies that have hurt her family, and the nation of the Congo, in the last few decades, Although Orelanna recognizes that these tragedies have hurt many people, she concludes that there's no point trying to imagine a world in which they didn't occur: there's no point trying to "fix destiny."

It's interesting that Orleanna thinks of her life as a manifestation of destiny: she thinks of her decision to marry Nathan and move to the Congo, for example, as fate, pure and simple. In other words, Orleanna has a hard time thinking of herself as a free agent: as she sees it, "her" decisions aren't really her own (the universe decides everything on her behalf). Orleanna is so used to being docile and submissive that she can't even conceive of a world in which she's free to do as she pleases: if she's not a prisoner to Nathan, then she's a prisoner to fate.

Book 5, Chapter 62 Quotes

But his kind will always lose in the end. I know this, and now I know why. “Whether it’s wife or nation they occupy, their mistake is the same: they stand still, and their stake moves underneath them. The Pharaoh died, says Exodus, and the children of Israel sighed by reason of their bondage. Chains rattle, rivers roll, animals startle and bolt, forests inspire and expand, babies stretch open-mouthed from the womb, new seedlings arch their necks and creep forward into the light. Even a language won’t stand still. A territory is only possessed for a moment in time. They stake everything on that moment, posing for photographs while planting the flag, casting themselves in bronze. Washington crossing the Delaware. The capture of Okinawa. They’re desperate to hang on.

Related Characters: Orleanna Price (speaker), Nathaniel Price
Page Number: 384
Explanation and Analysis:

In this prologue, Orleanna thinks about the way that history plays out over time. As she sees it, history always has a happy ending. Even if evil people (people who, more likely than not, are hypocritical, authoritative men) cause great misery, their reign will always come to an end. The Pharaoh of ancient Egypt may have hurt a lot of Jews (according to the Bible), but ultimately this injustice led the Jews to escape and find their "promised land." Similarly, oppressive patriarchs like Nathan cannot always maintain their control—those they persecute will eventually rise up against them.

Orleanna's philosophy of history is fascinating because it reminds us how uncomfortable she is with the concept of individual agency. Orleanna is so used to being submissive and docile that she has a hard time conceiving of a world in which individual people accomplish anything lasting. Instead, she thinks of the world in broad terms like "fate" and "destiny." Regardless of what individual people do, she believes, things will "work out" in the end. In all, Orleanna's worldview is a strange combination of passivity and optimism.

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Orleanna Price Character Timeline in The Poisonwood Bible

The timeline below shows where the character Orleanna Price appears in The Poisonwood Bible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 1
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...to one of her offspring. The narrator explains that she is the mother in the scene—Orleanna Price. She is a Southern Baptist by marriage, and the “mother of children living and... (full context)
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...the Space Race is well under way, and there is military turmoil in the Congo. Orleanna was there in the Congo, due to her husband and her children. She admits that... (full context)
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Orleanna is an old woman now, but she thinks back to 1960, when she experienced Africa... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 2
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...how her family traveled from Bethlehem, Georgia all the way to the jungle. Her mother, Orleanna, insisted that they bring Betty Crocker cake mix with them, since there would be none... (full context)
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...Leopoldville, Leah’s younger sister, Ruth May, faints. She revives very quickly, but the incident disturbs Orleanna. (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 4
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...faints. Rachel thinks to herself that Ruth May is surprisingly strong for a little girl. Orleanna grabs Rachel’s hand—something Rachel always hated back in Georgia—and pulls her out of the chaotic... (full context)
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...and her siblings eat—but they find it disgusting. Although they want to spit it out, Orleanna hisses that they must eat it, or she’ll “thrash them to an inch of their... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6
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In the following days, Nathan wakes up with a horrible rash. He wonders aloud to Orleanna why God is punishing him for farming the soil so carefully. Undeterred, he goes outside... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 7
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...from hungry villagers in the weeks leading up to the Prices’ arrival. Rachel notices that Orleanna, who fixed the fried chicken, has truly “won the crowd.” Nathan looks sad and lonely,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 8
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...should be considered a sinner, as Nathan says, or if she should be forgiven, as Orleanna thinks. (full context)
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...house burned down several years ago, scorching her legs, which later had to be amputated. Orleanna tells Ruth May that Mama Mwanza has a hard life now: she has to take... (full context)
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...Congo would be good for Rachel, because it would make her less vain and superficial. Orleanna complains that the villagers look upon the Prices as “freaks of nature.” She also encourages... (full context)
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...in Georgia, a chair that only Nathan was allowed to sit in. Ruth May and Orleanna laugh about the chair, because someone else—probably the father of the family to whom the... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 9
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...many of her favorite books Nathan doesn’t approve of, like science fiction and fantasy stories. Orleanna was the one who first read to Leah and Adah. Orleanna was also the first... (full context)
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...and during the first storm, it rains all day. The rain subsides around sunset, and Orleanna leads her children out into the wilderness. There, they see tiny, drowned birds, which they... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 10
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...the first rainstorm, Nathan’s garden thrives, growing pumpkins and beans. Meanwhile, Rachel’s 16th birthday arrives. Orleanna tries and fails to bake Rachel a cake—the oven in the house isn’t good for... (full context)
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...that Nathan took Rachel’s comment as a confession. Secretly, though, Leah knows that it was Orleanna who accidentally shouted “Damn” about the Betty Crocker cake mix. The children have kept their... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 11
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...truck made it into town because boys made a fan belt out of elephant grass. Orleanna interrupts the story to ask a question, and Nathan snaps at her, implying—Adah thinks—that she’s... (full context)
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Dinner proceeds in silence. Orleanna cooks the meat, and this requires a lot of time, since it’s sometimes full of... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 13
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Orleanna still remembers the smell of Africa—a smell she finds almost impossible to bear. The smell... (full context)
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Whenever Orleanna sees an orange or a packet of detergent now, she remembers a man named Eeben... (full context)
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Over time, Orleanna learned about life in the Congo. Most of the Africans in the community survived on... (full context)
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Orleanna thinks about Africa and the Congo’s place in the world. John F. Kennedy claimed that... (full context)
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Orleanna continues to think about Nathan. As time went on in Africa, Nathan’s Christian mission became... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14
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Orleanna insists that Adah and Leah continue with their schoolwork, even though there’s no school for... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 15
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...group of young men dressed in uniforms. Ruth May climbs trees in the afternoon, since Orleanna encourages her to study in the morning (Nathan, by contrast, insists that women shouldn’t go... (full context)
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...march by. She’s able to run back to her home, her arm in great pain. Orleanna discovers that Ruth May has broken her arm. She is angry with Ruth May, but... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 16
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...religions that the Kilanga villagers are attracted to. There’s a man named Tata Kuvudundu—someone whom Orleanna had dismissed as the town drunk—whom the villagers actually regard as a preacher and a... (full context)
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...responding to this, Nathan tells Anatole that he should leave at once. Anatole does so. Orleanna walks back into the room. Nathan angrily grabs a plate out of her hand and... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 18
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...quickly begins working hard 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... (full context)
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In a house down the street, someone dies suddenly, and Orleanna becomes paranoid that a disease is spreading through the village. She tries to convince her... (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... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 19
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...He shows her the chickens in the chicken house, and takes in some eggs for Orleanna. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 20
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It’s January, and the Underdown family shows up from Leopoldville, riding in Axelroot’s plane. Orleanna is upset that the Underdowns see her doing housework in her worn clothing, as she’s... (full context)
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...allows the Prices to continue living in the Congo—is an act of charity, nothing more. Orleanna yells at Underdown for insulting her family, and Nathan reprimands her, as if he’s punishing... (full context)
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Frank Underdown tries to restore calm, and he tells Orleanna and Nathan that he doesn’t know how much longer the Prices should be staying in... (full context)
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...in June: Belgium will pull out of the country, leaving the Congolese to rule themselves. Orleanna finds this terrifying. The Congolese are uneducated and unorganized, in large part because of the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 22
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...a letter ordering him to prepare to leave the Congo on June 28. Nathan tells Orleanna that he refuses to leave. Orleanna insists that Nathan is endangering his children’s lives, but... (full context)
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...Patrice Lumumba has been elected the new Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo. Orleanna asks Nathan if Lumumba is a Communist, and Nathan answers that he’s not sure. Rachel... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 23
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...with Leah, claiming that they’ll be back soon. (We’re not told where they’re going.) Meanwhile, Orleanna sits in bed all day, too sick to get up. Rachel tries to take care... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 26
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Orleanna begins by addressing a “little beast,” speaking as the little beast’s mother. Orleanna points out... (full context)
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Orleanna thinks back to her “downfall.” She had a happy childhood in Jackson, Mississippi, and survived... (full context)
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Orleanna married Nathan in the late 1930s. After that, she was saddened when America declared war... (full context)
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...moment, MacArthur’s troops freed Nathan from the Death March, saving his life. When Nathan returned, Orleanna could see right away that he’d become a different man. (full context)
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Now back in the South, Orleanna compares her early days of marriage to Nathan (After he returned from Bataan) to being... (full context)
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Nathan believed one thing: God rewards the righteous. Orleanna went through her marriage with a constant sense of being punished—for being beautiful; for being... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 29
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...which sit the Tribes of Ham, the African peoples of the world. She also sees Orleanna, who is thinking about animals. Ruth May concludes, “sometimes when you wake up you can’t... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 30
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...movement has cut off the Prices’ stipend, leaving them wanting for food. At this time, Orleanna and Ruth May become sick and feverish. Nathan ignores them, however. He just continues with... (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... (full context)
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Orleanna seems different now that she’s had a brush with deadly disease. She speaks her mind... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 34
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...old white man then appears outside the Price house, and introduces himself as Mr. Bird. Orleanna isn’t sure what to make of all this, but she invites Bird and his wife,... (full context)
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...and reinterpreted so many times by different people (Matthew, John, King James, etc.). Leah and Orleanna seem impressed with Bird’s freethinking ways. Bird explains that he has a large family, with... (full context)
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...staying for dinner. He leaves Adah with some books, and also offers some supplies to Orleanna. Before he goes, he tells Orleanna that he gets funding from the ABFMS, the American... (full context)
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Before Fowles leaves, Orleanna asks him about Ruth May’s fever. Fowles admits that there are few good doctors around,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 35
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...month of this, the Prices still aren’t sure how to ask him for help. Finally, Orleanna tells Ndu that she doesn’t want him catching a disease from Ruth May; this is... (full context)
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...likes Rachel because he thinks her fair complexion will be interesting for his other wives. Orleanna says, “You make it sound like she’s an accessory he needs to go with his... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 36
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...of marrying Tata Ndu. Whenever Tata Ndu visits from now on, she makes herself scarce. Orleanna and Nathan hit on the idea of pretending that Rachel is engaged to Eeben Axelroot.... (full context)
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...all over her body. One day, the Prices are sweeping around Ruth May’s bed, and Orleanna discovers a huge number of malaria pills lying under the bed. There are 61 pills,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 37
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...“halfway decent.” She’s planning to convince him to fly her away from Africa. In fact, Orleanna has already offered Axelroot her wedding ring, plus a thousand dollars, if he’ll get them... (full context)
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...the CIA Deputy Chief, various Congo chiefs, etc. He also claims to have U.S. protection. Orleanna asks Rachel about Axelroot, but she doesn’t share these secrets. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 38
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...around with other people’s husbands.” Nathan is appalled by this information, and shares it with Orleanna. Ruth May is confused, thinking, “Since when did he care about protecting young ladies?” (full context)
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Orleanna insists that Ruth May take her malaria pills. Ruth May has been avoiding taking the... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 39
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...has a subdued birthday—her second in the Congo. On her first birthday in the Congo, Orleanna cried, but didn’t give her any nice presents, and Rachel thought this was the worst... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 46
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...describes the scene in the village: everyone screams as they run away from the ants. Orleanna is holding Ruth May very tightly as she runs along, all the way to the... (full context)
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Ruth May and Orleanna reach the river, where they see Adah. Orleanna moves to talk to Adah, and suddenly... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 47
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...the ants—luckily, however, she was able to wake up and move away just in time. Orleanna carried Ruth May out of the house, saying that Nathan had already run out. Adah... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 48
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...rushes toward the river, noticing that Anatole is behind her, carrying Adah. He explains that Orleanna and Ruth May have gone ahead with Tata Boanda. Rachel, Anatole says, is a “demon,”... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 49
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Orleanna speculates about a “chance meeting” between a Belgian and an American. During this meeting, the... (full context)
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In 1975, Orleanna notes, a group of U.S. senators looked into the CIA’s actions in the Congo, and... (full context)
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Orleanna sometimes wonders if there was a way that Lumumba’s life could have been saved. But... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 52
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...out into the forest. Adah joins some of the elderly women, who carry ceremonial torches. Orleanna and Ruth May also walk along, surveying the hunters’ progress. Men light most of the... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 55
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...celebrate by dancing and shouting. Ruth May is scared of the celebration and hides in Orleanna’s arms. Meanwhile, a few of the hunters, led by Tata Kuvudundu, argue that Leah shouldn’t... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 56
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...cool, knowing in her heart that she’s done an impressive thing by killing the antelope. Orleanna is clearly on Leah’s side—she doesn’t speak, but she stacks the plates noisily, showing her... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 60
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...extremely early in the morning, and she’s scared of what she’s about to say to Orleanna and Nathan. (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 she already knew... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 62
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Orleanna admits that her grief will follow her wherever she goes. She once had a daughter... (full context)
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Orleanna continues talking about “staying in motion.” She explains that while she tried to move, Nathan... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 63
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Leah explains what happens in the following weeks. Orleanna and Adah leave Leopoldville, returning to the U.S. Nathan is still stationed in Kilanga. Rachel... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 65
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Adah begins by stating that she has “decided to speak.” Orleanna, by contrast, has seemingly lost all interest in communicating. (full context)
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...traveled back to the United States, where nobody could understand what they’d experienced in Africa. Orleanna began to work as a farmer, living alone and tending crops. At this time, Adah... (full context)
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...She didn’t communicate with her mother very often, except on occasional weekends. Adah noticed that Orleanna put a lot of love and attention into her gardening—something she never did when she... (full context)
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Adah backs up to explain what happened when the family left for Bulungu. Orleanna gathered her remaining daughters and told them to pack immediately, as life was no longer... (full context)
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Adah thinks back to her last days in Bulungu, just before she and Orleanna left for Leopoldville. Adah was convinced that Orleanna would leave her behind and travel with... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 68
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...who she believes has “sold out” by marrying a “powerful mercenary.” She can’t communicate with Orleanna or Adah. Her only real family nowadays is Anatole. Anatole works as a secondary school... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 69
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...and a deep sense of loneliness. It occurs to Adah that everyone needs a religion. Orleanna’s religion has become the Civil Rights Movement—she bravely marches on behalf of African Americans. Leah’s... (full context)
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...with medical school. She works in a hospital, delivering babies. She often thinks about how Orleanna left her behind on the night that the ants crawled through Kilanga. Once, she asked... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 70
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...One Easter the family receives a package, including family photos, food, and even some books. Orleanna has sent this package—she sends similar boxes all the time, but only a tiny fraction... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 72
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...in Atlanta. Leah herself is nostalgic for this time—Adah was in medical school then, and Orleanna was very kind to Leah and Pascal. (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 73
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...something—Nathan’s legendary “five wives” must have been a reference to the rest of his family: Orleanna, Ruth May, Adah, Leah, and Rachel. (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 74
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...Rachel is secretly remorseful for Nathan’s untimely death. Adah travels back to Georgia and tells Orleanna about Nathan. In response, Orleanna just walks outside for a while, silent. This prompts Adah... (full context)
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Once, Adah talks to her mother about regaining her mobility. Orleanna tells Adah she’s glad that Adah can walk and talk normally now. Adah finds this... (full context)
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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... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 78
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Adah visits Orleanna once a month. Orleanna is quite old now, and suffers from several diseases she contracted... (full context)
Book 7
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...the continent. She addresses “Mother,” and tells her to be still. She describes a scene: Orleanna leading her four children—including the youngest, Ruth May—through a forest, until their movements disturb an... (full context)
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The narrator describes another scene—Orleanna leads her three children through a market. They have come to say goodbye to Ruth... (full context)
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...that they’re planning to travel back to Kilanga soon to see their sister’s grave, where Orleanna wants to place a special grave marker. As the women walk through the market, the... (full context)
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...eventually see a woman sitting against a large wall. She’s about the same age as Orleanna’s three daughters, though she’s much larger. This large woman offers to sell the women toys... (full context)
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Orleanna sees a man who’s about the age that Ruth May would be if she’d survived... (full context)