Set in Liberia and the United States from 1975 through 1991, The Darling is the story of Hannah Musgrave, a political radical and member of the Weather Underground.
Hannah flees America for West Africa, where she and her Liberian husband become friends of the notorious warlord and ex-president, Charles Taylor. Hannah's encounter with Taylor ultimately triggers a series of events whose momentum catches Hannah's family in its grip and forces her to make a heartrending choice.
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Her medical training leads to a job collecting data from chimpanzees that have been taken from the wild for infection with hepatitis for research, and Hannah’s attachment to the sad primates is the first true affection she’s felt for anyone in her life—stronger even than the bond for the three bo...| Read Full Review of The Darling
At the end of his chronicle, Banks takes a daring last step of reminding us that, despite what she has witnessed, Hannah is one of the privileged of the earth, ''an American darling,'' whose story, after the planes went into the towers, ''could have no significance in the larger world.'' These la...Oct 24 2004 | Read Full Review of The Darling
The howls and screeches of the chimpanzees and their compulsive, arrhythmic banging against their cages had merged and become a congealed and hardened quantity of sound.'' Later, Hannah muses on the chimpanzees' goodness and the goodness of her experience with them, her ''blue eyes peering into t...Oct 24 2004 | Read Full Review of The Darling
Russell Banks achieves a major literary coup in his magnificent new novel, The Darling.Narrated by a 59-year-old white American woman looking back over her profoundly tragic life, the richly written story pulls the reader into the harsh past and present of Liberia in West Africa.Without slowing d...| Read Full Review of The Darling
Brown may have provided Banks with the segue to the Weatherman, since he was one of the very few non-Third World heroes the group honored Hannah longs to make a comparable sacrifice, but by the late ’60s she finds that blacks are more interested in standing on their own politically than in relyin...Nov 22 2004 | Read Full Review of The Darling
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