VENTURE INTO DARKNESS by Alice Tisdale Hobart


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Mrs. Hobart has intimate knowledge of China and the relations of the Americans and Europeans who have put down roots deep into China, whether in self identification or service or industry -- and of the Chinese with whom they come in contact. This time she has drawn in fictional form a picture of conflict:- the conflict of the gently reared Chinese, imagination captured by the promises of ideals put forward by Communists, as they break with the old traditions only to find that the sacred right of the individual is sacrificed; the conflict of the returning foreigners, encountering deep hate and suspicion where they had nurtured friendship and confidence; the conflict within those who had regretted a choice made under pressure- in this case, an acceptance of the sacrifice of aspiring, ambitious youth for the security his years demanded. The man is David Conway, who has come back to make restitution, to rescue the man who had succeeded him in his job and become a prisoner of the Reds. Aided by a family friend in Hongkong, David enters China illegally, only to have Mu San, son of his mentor, turn traitor, and betray not only David, the hated American, but his father and the intricate network of the underground. In the successive adventures -- escape, capture, escape again, and a perilous journey with guerillas across China,- one gets the kaleidoscopic picture of changing moods of loyalty to the new, nostalgia for the old, resentment, ardent nationalism, and so on,- as Communists, those going through the process of brain washing, peasants, officials, underground men and women- bring forces to play on the solution for David and Mu San. With flashbacks, interesting despite occasional awkwardness of handling, one gets a glimpse of an old way of life and thought. It is an eminently readable novel.

ISBN: 0548446008
Publisher: Longmans, Green