Nathan Price, a Baptist minister, takes his wife and 4 daughters to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need on their 12-month mission. Once there, they find that they are terribly unprepared. Nathan is obsessed with baptizing all of the children in the river, and doesn't learn until late in his stay that the villagers won't go in the river because of crocodiles. But he hasn't bothered to learn their language or customs.
The story is told through Nathan's wife and daughters in alternating chapters; each chapter is a first person narrative. It is a very effective way of getting to know the characters and of seeing the story from different perspectives. I rate this book 5 out of 5.