Haris Abadi is a man in search of a cause. An Arab American with a conflicted past, he is now in Turkey, attempting to cross into Syria and join the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. But he is robbed before he can make it, and is taken in by Amir, a charismatic Syrian refugee and former revolutionary, and Amir’s wife, Daphne, a sophisticated beauty haunted by grief. As it becomes clear that Daphne is also desperate to return to Syria, Haris’s choices become ever more wrenching: Whose side is he really on? Is he a true radical or simply an idealist? And will he be able to bring meaning to a life of increasing frustration and helplessness? Told with compassion and a deft hand, Dark at the Crossing is an exploration of loss, of second chances, and of why we choose to believe—a trenchantly observed novel of raw urgency and power.
Elliot Ackerman’s Dark at the Crossing begins with a question the Turkish guards at the Syrian border pose to Haris, the young Arab American veteran determined to cross: why, after escaping the war in Iraq for America, would he want to then leave to fight—and probably die—in Syria? The novel answers this question by taking us inside a singular and urgent story that connects the war in Iraq, anti-Muslim hatred in America, and the Syrian Civil War.