This book really could have been entitled: “How NOT To Be A Missionary”. Almost from the first page, Nathan Price is blundering badly at every step. But when people have grandiose ideas of what they can do in the name of God, things often go awry.
The story begins in 1959 in the state of Georgia, with Nathan having the desire to go to the Belgian Congo as a missionary. His wife Orleanna, and their four daughters – Rachel, Adah, Leah, and Ruth – don’t particularly want to go, but dutifully go with him. Talk about being totally unprepared! They haven’t learned the language. They know nothing of the customs of the people. They are unfamiliar with the animals and vegetation of the Congo. And they will be the only foreigners in the area. From the day the family arrives in Kilanga, Nathan manages to offend and alienate the villagers.
Orleanna and her daughters take turns telling the story, so you get the point of view of a young child, teenagers, and an adult. Nathan, the father, is the only one who doesn’t help tell the story.
Only a third of the way through the book, I cannot yet say if this is a book I enjoy or not. It was one of the books recommended to me by a librarian at my local library.
I just keep shaking my head and sighing, as Nathan persists in trying to convert the people of the Congo, while being totally oblivious to how his wife and children feel. But the story keeps pulling me along, so I will finish it.