Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 2, Chapter 5

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 2, Chapter 5


  • Anatole sends the Prices a boy named Nelson to help out around the house. He's an orphan too. He sleeps in their chicken house and they pay him in eggs, and it's not dangerously close to child slavery at all.
  • Many of the village children have the kakakaka, a word which both means "hurry up" and "a disease where you have to go to the bathroom a thousand times a day" (2.5.8).
  • To avoid contagion, Mother has been keeping all the girls in the house all day long.
  • At night, Leah's been having steamy dreams about Anatole, although she blames it on a side effect of quinine.
  • With a lot of time to kill, Mother has the girls start work on their hope chests. Rachel's really into it, Adah is not, and Leah isn't very good at embroidery. She worries that without this completely useless skill, her marriage prospects will be tarnished.
  • Uh, maybe. We doubt Liz Taylor could embroider and she was married eight times.