I just finished reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It was so, so good! You know you just read a good book when you continue to think about the characters and the story well after you have finished it. The story is set in (mostly) 1959, when a southern missionary family heads out into the Belgian Congo. The story is told through the mother and four daughters as the narrators. It follows the mothers fight for independence from her husband alongside the Congo's fight for independence from the Belgians. I really enjoyed the coming-of-age narrations from the daughters. I think seeing Africa through the eyes of the oldest daughter, Rachel, was my favorite. She was a bit of a diva and I loved how Kingsolver wrote Rachel's sections. Rachel wasn't the "brains" of the family and would often use a word incorrectly to describe something else.
There is a family tragedy and a nation's tragedy in this story. This tragedy becomes the hurdle that each sister and the mother must face throughout the rest of their lives. I enjoyed that the story didn't end until the 1980s. After reading their adventures on their mission trip, I liked seeing how they grew up and aged taking with them the lessons they had learned. This one should be on your to read list if you already haven't!!
Next up, I am headed to Lake Wobegon!