The Darling

The Darling Set in Liberia and the United States from through The Darling is the story of Hannah Musgrave a political radical and member of the Weather Underground Hannah flees America for West Africa

  • Title: The Darling
  • Author: Russell Banks
  • ISBN: 9780060957353
  • Page: 225
  • Format: Paperback
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      225 Russell Banks
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      Posted by:Russell Banks
      Published :2019-09-24T23:47:27+00:00

    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 eSet 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.

    Comment 908

    • Saleh MoonWalker says:

      Onvan : The Darling - Nevisande : Russell Banks - ISBN : 60957352 - ISBN13 : 9780060957353 - Dar 400 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2004

    • Shane says:

      This novel is a scarier version of Philip Roth’s “American Pastoral” in which the indulged upper middle class daughter rejects her comfortable surroundings in suburbia and joins a group of radicals to bring about a utopian socialist society in America, with disastrous consequences.Hannah Musgrave, the errant darling of the ‘70’s, is nearing her sixtieth year in the early 21st century, and is reflecting on where her idealism and search for purpose has led her. Firstly, she is not a part [...]

    • AC says:

      4.5 stars - a really fabulous book - set in the Liberian Civil War, Hannah, ex-weather, underground. Banks, who is male, chooses to write about a woman in the first person -- and at first it's a bit weird - but in the end, he makes it work. If you're looking for something contemporary with bite and depth, a book about a life poised over the voids of history you might like it. Nighly rec'd. Banks writes well -- realism -- yet a fine, fine writer.

    • Leslie says:

      the woman's point of view is so well done in this book that it's hard to believe it was authored by a man. i simultaneously loved and loathed the main character. the fact that it's historically accurate, and that charles taylor, who is featured prominently in the novel, has been in the press recently, make it all the more interesting.

    • Stephanie says:

      War, massacre and menage a trois (thanks to LC for coining this phrase!). That pretty much sums up this disappointing book by the author of the great "The Sweet Hereafter". "The Darling" is long-winded, self indulgent, and at times, quite unrealistic. The protagonist is a white woman who fled to Liberia after creating and setting off a few bombs for the Weather Underground. We are constantly reminded of her mindset (and her bed mates) and she doesn't come off as an authentic female character, bu [...]

    • Lena Webb says:

      I have incredibly disturbing thoughts about primates, and this book didn't help me out one bit.

    • Friederike Knabe says:

      "There are certain things about me that I won't reveal to you until you understand", Hannah Musgrave tells her readers. She is the central axis of this rich and engaging tale of one woman's journey from a privileged childhood to a quiet life on a farm in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. The interim period, however, is dramatic and unconventional. She drops out of her middle class life as a young student, frustrated with the comfort of that life and the people around her. Joining the [...]

    • Stephen Wallant says:

      OK No. Anyone who says anything about this book is wrong. This book is about this girl in the weather underground, like your parents? And Forrest Gump. So she goes underground. But she's not like the girl in American Pastoral who becomes totally annoying and pisses everyone off. Not that she didn't piss a LOT of people off. So she goes into hiding, and fucks off to Africa. Aggra. Agra. Ghana! Word, I TOTALLY want to go to Agra, Ghana after reading this book.OK so she's hiding out. And who is she [...]

    • Shannon (Giraffe Days) says:

      There aren't many Liberian authors - something like three, according to - and there aren't many books set there either. If you want a good idea of what the deal is with Liberia, where it is and what happened in its recent history, this is an excellent book for educating yourself. Hannah Musgrove is a well-educated American with a famous doctor for a father and a fluttering, apparently silly woman for a mother. It's the 60s, and just before finishing her medical degree she drops out and becomes [...]

    • Chad says:

      Who is the protagonist of Russell Banks’s 2004 novel The Darling? Is it Hannah Musgrave, the privileged daughter of a famous New England child-rearing expert? Perhaps Dawn Carrington, the political radical and member of the Weather Underground---a woman who forges passports, builds bombs, and is ultimately forced to flee America to avoid imprisonment? Maybe the novel’s protagonist/anti-heroine is Mrs. Woodrow Sundiata, the wife of Liberia’s Assistant Minister of Public Health? Hannah/Dawn/ [...]

    • Ann says:

      What starts out with an almost-elderly woman in a pastoral setting on a farm in the Adirondacks soon becomes an African adventure for a young American woman who rebels against her family and her country. Hannah Musgrave, an unsympathetic character, if a reliable narrator tells her story and a harrowing one it is. After radical bomb-making in the U.S the young Hannah is forced to flee the country and ends up in a roundabout fashion in Liberia.Here she seems to abandon her political ideals. It see [...]

    • Richard says:

      I saw Russell Banks read when Affliction first came out. He came across as a very thoughtful man who was a novelist of the human heart--the book is one of his best, though I was also quite fond of Continental Drift. Banks had a mind towards international waters (he said in the Q & A afterwards, when someone asked how much he knew about Haiti when writing Drift, that he only started learning about the place when he decided he wanted to write about it and did not decide to write about Haiti be [...]

    • Dayna says:

      This book doesn't take on life until 1/4 way in, when Hannah Musgrave has returned to Liberia (to which she first fled in order to escape her possible imprisonment as a member of the the Weather Underground) to confront certain "ghosts" from her past. Russell Banks, to his credit, keeps these ghosts rather vague - does she return to confront the spirits of the chimpanzees who had fallen under her care and who perished because of her choices? Or to find the sons she had abandoned, the sons who ha [...]

    • JoAnn/QuAppelle says:

      The main character was so despicable!As I read this book, I wanted to grab Hannah/Dawn and smack her face. What a despicable characterd what a writing genius Banks is, at least in this book, to make me feel this way. However, I like linear novels, so Banks' jumping back and forth in time is NOT my favorite device. This is not a spoiler: Wouldn't the book have been just as effective if the reader had not known at the beginning that Hannah escaped from Liberia and got back to the States? What is t [...]

    • Seattle Al says:

      The book is well-written and well-paced, and the descriptions of customs and the war in Liberia are fascinating. The descriptions of the narrator's farm life and experiences in the Weather Underground are also believable and intriguing. However, where the book falls down is in the plausibility and likability of the main character (the narrator). Her sexual encounters are not realistic, nor are her reactions to them. More importantly, Hannah is too unlikable to bring the reader to care about her. [...]

    • Gwen says:

      Until the very last page, I wondered why this wasn't called "The Dreamers." A book that melds 1960s radical activism (Civil Rights Movement, feminism, and Weather Underground) and political upheaval in Liberia, there was enough history to keep me reading. Hannah Musgrove was an exasperating protagonist: too self-reflective yet not quite introspective, unable to (openly) love people but willing to commit emotionally to animals, hard on others but somehow letting herself off. The CIA, American rad [...]

    • Rob says:

      I'd forgotten how much I love Russell Banks. The Darling is complex, sprawling, melancholy, and terrifying, and it taught me more about Liberia than I thought I'd ever learn (and want to know). It's useless to try and summarize the plot except to say that it's about a woman who becomes a traitor to the U.S. in the 60's, moves to Africa, marries a member of Liberia's ruling party, and opens a sanctuary for chimps. Except it's so much more than that. Like his earlier novel Cloudsplitter (about rad [...]

    • Stacia says:

      I really wanted to like this book, and it was a very good book, but I didn't really like it. As always, Banks's writing is gorgeous. Though the book is written in first person, Liberia was, for me, the central character, primarily because the narrator was so detached from the events she described that I was detached from her. It was quite odd, reading a first-person narrative and feeling so little connection to the narrator. The reading group guide led me to believe I should have gained all thes [...]

    • Marguerite says:

      What a weird experience this book was. What a weird experience this book was. It was on one of those best-of lists, and I brought it home dutifully and read about 100 pages only to realize I'd tried to read it before, but just couldn't get into it. The problem was, it wasn't memorable enough to register on my consciousness, either positively or negatively. This is my literary "Groundhog Day."

    • Callista says:

      Protagonist was completely unbelievable as a woman or mother. Doesn't seem as though the author's research on Monrovia was thorough. Please - especially if you are a friend of mine looking for information on Liberia - do not read this. Read The House On Sugar Beach, which is a much more accurate description.

    • Andrea says:

      This author's most spectacular failure to date. The main character is whiny and strange, and the minor African characters with whom she interacts are inscrutably vicious stereotypes of the "uncivilized other."

    • Krista says:

      This might be a spoilerish review, better read after the book. As we meet Hannah Musgrave, she's an organic farmer in her fifties; a woman haunted by a past that she is finally willing to confront. In a first-person, confessional tone, Musgrave brings the reader along as she returns to Africa; revisiting the climax of her early life. Along the way, we learn that Musgrave was the privileged daughter of a semi-famous liberal activist father and a Junior League/charity works mother; a civil rights [...]

    • Carla Patterson says:

      I don't know what to think about this book once I started it, I couldn't put it down, though. What I find most arresting is that I believed the protagonist could exist and, therefore, the things she felt and thought and did held water. No matter how differently she and I perceived things, I took it for granted a woman like her could exist.Fascinating how Banks sees macro and micro events from a similar vantage point, giving them each more validity whether true (or known) or not. I want to read m [...]

    • Abby Russo says:

      DNF -- this book might raise important issues about American influence overseas and representations of Western African countries like Ghana and Liberia, but no amount of important issues could make up for the selfish, condescending and cruel narrator.

    • mark says:

      The Darling is a masterpiece. It is the story of a woman, Hannah, who would today (2012) be seventy, who recounts her life and how she came to be who and what she is, and what she did, from the perspective of where she is just before September 11, 2001, at the age of fifty-nine: She is the unattached owner and operator of a small commercial farm in Keene Valley, New York. What is so remarkable is that the story is written by a man, Russell Banks, who is the same age and lives in the same place a [...]

    • Snotchocheez says:

      And I thought Rule of the Bone was wackSomehow, Russell Banks ties his beloved Adirondack Mountains to subversive Left-wing anti-government activity of the late 60s-early 70s AND throws in a historical portrait of war-torn, bloody West Africa in the mid 70s-early 80s, whips up a frothy stew, and comes up with quite an engaging, page-turning little gem in The Darling. Much like Banks did with Cloudsplitter and John Brown's life, (but with considerably more attention-grabbing bravado), he takes hi [...]

    • Ryan says:

      I really, really enjoyed this book, found it very engrossing and well-written. In reading the other reviews I found that people really hated the main character, Hannah, but I found her to be very real. Yes, very cold and detached and definitely flawed, but I found her voice to be shockingly believable and relatable, especially since it's written by a man.The book is about a woman who has had 3 lives - first as the privileged daughter who joins the Weather Underground, second as the American seek [...]

    • Peggy says:

      i did not understand the narrator one iota. now, that is not always necessary for me to enjoy a book. but this person did not feel real, feel human. she was a person with a story that might have happened - but this narrator was an empty shell. this story could not possibly have happened to HER. maybe that was what the book was trying to say (she was incredibly detached?) - but if so - i never felt like that dynamic was explored. i also found her annoying. again, this doesn't doom a book for me. [...]

    • Mary Taitt says:

      An excellent but disturbing book about Hannah Musgrave who was underground with the Weathermen in the 60s and fled to Liberia when she married a Liberian and raised 3 children. When war breaks out, she is sent back to America where she helps free the imprisoned Charles Taylor. When she returns to Liberia, she and her three sons witness the brutal murder of her husband. The book is well-written and engaging but hard to stomach.I reread this book November 2015 and really enjoyed it, in spite of th [...]

    • Renee says:

      I found The Darling to be a political-historical narrative of great scope and range. The "darling" of the story is Dawn Carrington, neé Hannah Musgrave, a political radical and member of the Weather Underground forced to flee America to avoid arrest. At the time of the novel, she is 59, living on her working farm in upstate New York with four younger women, recalling her life in Liberia and her recent return to that country to look for her sons ().I listened to this book on audio and was captiv [...]

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