About the size of Texas, inhabited by only 450,000 people (5000 of them Europeans), Gabon could not be considered a choice diplomatic assignment. Mr. Darlington was one of Kennedy's first ambassadorial appointments to a new African state; he and his wife settled in Libreville with energy and expectation. The book is divided into two parts: the Ambassador handles the political matters and Mrs. Darlington conveys the intricate makeshifts required for hospitable housekeeping in an equatorial country bereft of shopping-center amenities. No ladies '-club type, she also investigates some of the serio, social problems afflicting this underdeveloped country, and writes a perceptive essay on the achievements and failures of Albert Schweitzer's work at Lambarene. Ambassador Darltngton indicts the French for restoring autocratic President M'ba 36 hours after a military Junta connected with the political opposition overthrew him on February 18, 1964. Darlington's support for the coup resulted in a demand by M'ba for his recall....Unusually informative and quite delightfully written.