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1974 to the End
Leah and Anatole now have three sons, Pascal, Patrice, and Martin-Lothaire, and live in the city of Kinshasa. Elisabet lives with them as well. Though they live in abject poverty, they live in relative luxury compared to most of those around them. Joseph Mobutu, in the meantime, lives like a king with palaces around the world. Leah's resentment toward the West and toward its pawn Mobutu deepens steadily. She is particularly disdainful of Mobutu's feints at creating national unity, such as his campaign to rename all of the locations in the country in more native terms, and his much-publicized hosting of a boxing match between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman.
After a failed marriage with the French diplomat, and another, happier, marriage to the now-dead Remy Fairley, Rachel is now on her own. In his will Fairely left her a luxury hotel, the Equatorial, north of Brazaville and she has found success as its owner and proprietress. She is happy cavorting with the rich businessmen who come to stay, but she is plagued by suspicions regarding the trustworthiness of her African staff. She deeply resents the fact that no members of her family have come to see the Equatorial. She cannot understand why Leah has never come, since she lives in the next country over.
Leah, Anatole, and their sons visit the United States again, this time for schooling. Leah studies agricultural engineering and Anatole political science and geography. When they return to their home, now called "Zaire," Anatole is arrested for his anti-Mobutu activity. Leah waits nervously, unsure if she will ever see him again.
There is only one month left until Anatole is released from prison, and he and Leah have made plans to found a farm commune near the South of Zaire. Orleanna has raised the money to buy a Land Rover for the venture, and since Adah must bring the Land Rover over to Africa, the three sisters decide to use this as an excuse for a reunion. Over their three-week trip tensions run high between Rachel and Leah, particularly on the subject of race. Rachel will not even allow Leah and Anatole to spend a night in her hotel, since she has a rule barring blacks from staying as guests. The biggest blow, however, comes when Leah informs her sisters that their father is dead. The people of the village in which he was last preaching asked him repeatedly to leave, but he refused and then took a boatload of children into the river to forcibly baptize them. The boat was turned over by a crocodile and all of the children died. The people ran Nathan out of town, and he climbed up a watchtower that they then set on fire.
Orleanna has moved to Sanderling Island on the Georgia coast, where she spends her time working in the garden. Adah is a renowned epidemiologist working for the Center for Disease Control. She is completely cured of her limp and other oddities, and misses these handicaps.
Corrections: There are several mistakes in this article, from plot-related to grammatical. The ones I can think of off the top of my head are: a) Adah's right side, not her left, is crippled, b) the author used "effect" as a verb, and c) it's wringing, not ringing, near the end. Someone should probably look over this sometime. Also, the article presents Nathan Price as a completely flat character; however, he has his moments of uncertainty (for example, when he reshapes his garden into mounds, or when he reacts to the news of the little girl... Read more→
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I feel that Nathan is not shown as a real protagonist. He isn't even a main character, as the book isn't about his actions, but how the females in his family respond to his actions. He would be more considered an antagonist, if he were more central.
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Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see any analysis about Ruth May...
Take a Study Break!