The Poison Tree by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

The Poison Tree

I will preface by saying I wish I had the ability to read every language in the world to fully enjoy literature in its original written language. Much is lost in translation it is a shame. In this particular case I wish I read Bengali, I know I would love The Poison Tree more than I already do

The Poison Tree is so much more than one complex love story – Bankim is what makes this story so powerful and memorable. He has a way with realism, riveting plots and dramatic characters, not to mention the question of morality. I can’t believe this was originally published in 1873. Bankim’s writing appeals to such a broad audience as well as fitting of any time period – 100 years later his stories still impact the reader.

The Poison Tree address issues such as love, marriage, fidelity, death, revenge. Morality is questioned in this tangled, tender and yet frustrating cast of characters and plot. Three main players comprise the body of the story with several minor players adding to the drama and labyrinth.

This is a story worthy of your attention. Read it slowly, savor the feel of his words and messages as you are spellbound by Bankim’s rich prose. I have read The Poison Tree multiple times, each time reflecting on love, life, relationship dynamics etc. A deep read with profound messages covering many areas. I hope you add this as a favorite after reading, please be mindful of the translation – leave a margin for error.

A passage from The Poison Tree regarding love:
“So long as the sun remains unclouded, we are warmed by his beams and we love the clouds, but when the sun is gone we know he was the eye of the world.”


Published October 11th 2007 by BiblioLife (first published 1873)
Paperback 168 pages
ISBN13: 9781434609410


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