This novel by Barbara Kingsolver tells the story of Nathan Price through the eyes of his wife and four daughters. Price is an evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission of converting others to the Congo in 1959. They take with them what they think they will need - but proves to be unnecessary in Africa. "The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy." The stories of the four daughters, Leah, Adah, Ruth May, and Rachel, are intertwined with the story of their mother, Orleanna. A family from Georgia, they are completely out of their element in the midst of the Congo. The name of the book comes from the natives' language.
"Tata Jesus is BANGALA!" declares the Reverend every Sunday...Bangala means something precious and dear. But the way her pronounces it, it means the poisonwood tree. Praise the Lord, hallelujah, my friends! for Jesus will make you itch like nobody's business.I was completely enthralled by this book. It takes some time to get into, but once you get into it you really get into it. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good, long, read (its 543 pages in my copy). It seems as if it is about a missionary, but really, it is about a family and its relationship with the Congo. Rating: ★★★★★