Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Book Takes Place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: no
I have visited the country: no
I actually just read this book last year. It had been recommended to me over and over again, but the size of the book put me off a little. Since last year's challenge was reading recommended books, so it finally made the rotation. And I am so glad I finally read it.
This is the story of the Price family who went to the Congo in Africa on a mission for the church. Nathan - the father - went against the church's wishes feeling that he needed to reach the people of Africa and bring them the word of God. So in 1959, he and his wife and their 4 young daughters find themselves in a completely different world than where they came from in Georgia. During the tumultuous year in the Congo, Nathan fails to start the church he so desired, but refuses to leave. His refusal leads to his family's undoing. The family lives in extreme povery and in fear for their lives every day. And in the end, they will leave their part of the Congo as a party of 5 - losing one along the way.
This was a powerful story. It is an intense read, told from the points of view of the 4 daughters and the mother. Each girl is so different, that their take away from their time in the Congo is unique to each person. Once tragedy falls on their family, the women all pick different paths in their lives - all claiming that their year in the Congo, and the tragedy, is what lead them to where they ended up. The book covers almost the entire lives of the women - jumping ahead a few years at a time after the initial year they spent together. So you get to see what becomes of them and how events lead to one's life choices.
I encourage you to read this book. I could not believe the poverty and the danger that they faced daily but that they still stayed. It is hard for us who live in extreme comfort to imagine what it would be like to have nothing.
Stars: 4 1/2
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