I have started this book twice before and toasted it. Apparently this is common. My g/f said she started it ELEVEN times before it grabbed her. I am not sure if I have that much perseverance but, this was my third time. This story takes place in the 1950's and tells of a missionary and his family going on a mission to Africa. Nathan's wife, Orleanna, and their daughters - shallow teen-age Rachel, twins Leah and Adah, and five-year-old Ruth May, each take a different chapter and take turns telling the story of their time in Africa. Apparently there is two parts to this book: The first is about Nathan's clumsy and ill-advised attempts to fit Africa to his fundamentalist beliefs, and the family's attempts to fit their lives to Africa. The second is about the way a family tragedy marks its survivors and the different ways events in Africa mark them as well. I didn't care for the character and even though I made it farther this time than any previous time, I still couldn't finish it.