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|The Darling by Russell Banks|
|Topic Started: Aug 11 2012, 02:11 PM (53 Views)|
|Ribs||Aug 11 2012, 02:11 PM Post #1|
The Darling by Russell Banks
The American “Darling” is Hannah Musgrave aka Dawn Carrington, a small time and insignificant activist who has gone underground in USA after skipping a court appearance and who is wanted by the FBI for “terrorism”. She is persuaded to leave US for Africa by an ex boyfriend and ends up in Liberia. The main story is about her life there as the white American wife of a black government minister in the time of the Tolbert government and charts the history of Liberia through to the time when Charles Taylor becomes president. Throughout the book as she also comments on her relationship with her parents who she seems to blame for everything that happens to her!
Hannah is a selfish and egocentric woman who, although she has a husband and three young sons, is unable to reconcile herself to the differences in culture between them. She never fully integrates or feels any real attachment to them and is more able to relate to the chimpanzees she rescues that to her own family. The book charts the civil war but doesn’t go into much detail except in mentioning the rivalry between the three opposing forces and the vicious and murderous havoc, which left millions dead, and many thousands displaced. Hannah’s husband is murdered and her three sons, aged 13 and 14 disappear. She leaves the country at the behest of the US embassy in Liberia after seeing evidence that her sons have become boy soldiers for Prince Johnson in order to avenge their father’s murder. She does not return to Liberia until 10 years later to see what finally became of them.
I found Hannah an unlovable character with a lack of self awareness that was quite chilling. Russell Banks is an author who always gets me wondering about the basis for his characters.
|voice||Oct 1 2012, 06:02 PM Post #2|
I just finished this book but I didn't feel that she was an unlovable character but I feel her pains. An enjoyable book by a master story teller who knows people.
I've started reading Ben Elton's "Gridlock". This will be the third book I've read by him.
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