Study Guide

The Poisonwood Bible Book 5, Chapter 9

By Barbara Kingsolver

Book 5, Chapter 9

Rachel Axelroot DuPrée Fairley. The Equatorial. January 1978.

  • The last chapter may have ended on a hopeless note, but this word isn't in Rachel's admittedly limited vocabulary.
  • Two husbands later (DuPrée turned out to be an adulterer; Remy Fairley died), Rachel finds herself the proud owner of the Equatorial, a huge hotel. Plus, her hair looks just great.
  • Rachel constantly brags about how she's done everything—like put in the pool—all by herself. She had to hire and fire the locals all by herself. And boy, is she exhausted.
  • Although she's excited to have her own little world that she can run however she pleases, she's dismayed that Leah, who is just a hop skip and jump away, hasn't come to visit yet.
  • Rachel wonders if she had anything to do with Ruth May's death: "There was just a minute there where maybe I could have grabbed her, but it happened so fast. She never knew what hit her" (5.7.16).
  • But, as we said, hopeless is not in her vocabulary: "Honestly, there is no sense spending too much time alone in the dark" (5.7.17).
  • Yeah, we hear that.