|Find it at your local bookseller,|
Indiebound, or Amazon.
Then do sit down with a warm cup of tea for a long, leisurely read: A Different Sun by Elaine Neil Orr will more than satisfy your requirements.
And whether or not high interest, high style novels of Yorubaland in the 19th century are your daily fare (and they certainly aren't mine!), I recommend that you give A Different Sun by Elaine Neil Orr a try, especially if you can find the time to read it in one or two sittings. I'm pleased to have done so, as this novel had me recalling both Achebe's classic Things Fall Apart and Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible.
Although I've recently read plenty of non-fiction set in late 20th century Africa, the last historical novel I read set there was probably Kingsolver's, fifteen years ago. I'm quite certain that A Different Sun will be compared to that worthy work, but I feel that it holds its own against the popular Kingsolver book. Both feature multiple narrators (although this one's written in third person perspective rather than first person), and both feature females whose fates are tied to charismatic ministers. In both cases, the culture and landscape the missionaries land in seems to trigger and amplify mental illness in the men, with near-catastrophic repercussions for the women and the native people whom those missionaries intend to "save".
In A Different Sun, we see life not only through the eyes of Emma Davis Bowman, free-spirited and spiritually-seeking daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, but later through those of her husband, the mercenary-cum-Reverend Henry Bowman, and then his local assistant, Jacob. The narrative "is inspired by the writings of Lurana Davis Bowen and Thomas Jefferson Bowen, the first Southern Baptist missionaries to Africa" and author Orr's research provides cultural and historical context that never feels oppressively detailed or shoe-horned in (as it does in some historical fictions).
Although this novel did not immediately grip me, after I accustomed myself to Emma's unusually associative and somewhat "choppy" internal experience early in the book, I found that I could immerse myself in her perspective - and later in those of the two male characters. Perhaps not as ambitious as Kingsolver's earlier work, A Different Sun certainly succeeds on its own more modest but worthy terms.
MFB out of Africa,
p.s. I extend my gratitude to the author and to all those at TLC Book Tours for allowing me to participate. If you'd like to find out what other bloggers thought of A Different Sun, do hop by the tour hub now!