Top positive review
An Interesting and Informative Work
30 July 2017
This is a beautifully written book but it's not a page turner. Instead it's a work to be savoured slowly and thoughtfully. It's the story of a family which travels to the Congo in the 1950s as missionaries. The husband is arrogant, zealous and totally ignorant of the language and customs of the people which affects his ability to communicate and he becomes increasingly frustrated. His wife and daughters come to resent him and ultimately challenge his authority. The narrative is related through five voices: the mother and the four daughters. Each has a different attitude towards the family unit and to their African environment. Peppered with humour and pathos, the family endure sickness, famine, and the invasion of their home by driver ants before enduring the turbulent period of independence and its aftermath. The book has been well researched and throws up interesting questions concerning race, indigenous rights, and the so called moral superiority of the the West, especially when the U.S.A organises a coup that establishes the brutal and tyrannical government of Colonel Mobutu.