The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A novel like this is my favourite way of learning about the wider world and a moment in its history, in this case the Belgian Congo and its revolution to Zaire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tragic but pleasant, easy but educational.
This is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it – from garden seeds to Scripture – is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.