May 13 2005, 04:58 PM
I just finished reading this book. I havebn't read any of her other books, but I hear that they aren't nearly as good as this one. Whatever the case, it's an excelent book which I highly recommend. It's about a missionary family that goes to the Congo in 1959 and planning to stay there for one year. It's told from the perspective of Babtist minister's four daughters and wife, who he forces to go with him on his trip. So they get there and they go out the little village where they plan to set up there mission, called Kilanga, which already had a missionary there for some years before them, but who they are supposed to replace because the previous missionary was said to be consorting too much the local religion. It's during their mission that the Congolese independence movement occurs, led by Patrice Lumumba, so you get a good close-up picture of some of the thigns that went on at that time. It's a fictional book, but it deals with very real and very important issues of colonialism, Western domination of indigenous people, and the ignorance most Westerners have regarding Africa and her culture. It also has some commentary on the ignorance of most Americans at the time about thigns like communism and democracy, and the US's deep and harmful involvement in the rest of the world. It's and excelent book, and if you can you should read it.