Tear It Down

In 1998 the smash hit, Oprah Book Club, Pulitzer Prize Finalist novel “The Poisonwood Bible” was released. One story from the book has stuck with me, and I will now share that with you.

General Book Overview

The novel is about the Prices, a Christian missionary family who move from Georgia (US) to the Belgian Congo in 1959, just before political turmoil hits in the 1960’s. Different chapters are written from the viewpoints and in the language of the different characters.

The Interesting Story

The Prices have twin girls, Leah and Adah. Adah is born with what is (falsely) diagnosed as hemiplegia, which causes weakness on one side of the body. She walks her entire life with a limp, slightly dragging her leg. She also refuses to talk, spending most of her childhood in silence.

Fast forward, Adah goes back to the US and enrolls in medical school. In medical school, a neurologist (and love interest) tells Adah that there’s actually nothing wrong with her, and that he thinks she can be cured of her dragging right side and encourages her to take part in an experimental program. For six months, she doesn’t walk at all; instead she crawls and uses a wheelchair. One day, she feels a snap on her right side and is soon able to teach herself to walk again — this time without the limp. As someone who always defined herself by her disability, Adah now wonders who she is without it.

The Insight

Sometimes moving forward is not the right way to proceed. Sometimes you need to move backwards, undo, and reset completely.

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