Russell Banks is one of my favorite authors, and this is one of his best. Totally engrossing and rich with characters and history.
masterfully crafted international espionage, terrorism, and all of the things lecarre and clancy wish they could write about.
I liked this book for opening my eyes to other people's struggles in the world.
A view inside the head of a rebellious young woman in the Weather Underground during the 70s and 80s--her sometimes dubious view of the American life she wants to escape, and also of the situation she encountered when fleeing the country to avoid being arrested by the FBI as a terrorist, to land in Liberia, where ironically she marries into the corrupt ruling class and becomes embroiled in the brutal politics and war that ensued.
This is a thoughtful book that tries to show the two cultures and where they intersect, and also to show the racism that runs through both. The observer-protagonist-storyteller is flawed and unable to have deep relationships with anyone in her life and eventually admits that only with the chimpanzees in her care in Liberia does she see beyond the surface. Still there seems to be a sad longing tone, indicating that the real human connections that are out of reach are what is missing/
I found it an interesting read but with a thread of sadness and futility running through.