Judith's Reviews > Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller
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's review
Jan 19, 2012

liked it

How can you lose with a title like this? It's so poetic, romantic, and intriguing. I had the lucky accident of ordering the book and the audio book at the library at the same time. So while I enjoyed the audio portion tremendously because of the lovely British accents, the occasional singing, and the pronunciation of so many African words, I then enjoyed looking at the pictures in the book.

It seems we never tire of hearing stories of people who grew up in Africa, how they experienced the beauty, the back-breaking work, the constant dangers from man and beast, and the various political views from all those who want to possess it somehow. In this memoir, Alexandra Fuller tells of her brave and eccentric mother, Nicola, who was born on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and moved with her parents to Kenya as a baby. The front cover shows her with her childhood companion: a 4 year old tow-headed barefoot girl in overalls holding the hand of a chimpanzee in matching overalls. Thus she grew up and married a fellow Brit, who like her was in love with Africa. They refuse to see the sun setting on the British Empire and insist on holding tight to their beloved adopted country.

Through tragedies and happiness, the young couple raise children and move from Kenya to Rhodesia to Zambia, trying to find home in a land they love. The various wars and civil unrest bring challenges that would send a normal person running home to England. But people who love Africa seem to become obsessed by it, and these people really love Africa. Their feelings are infectious and made me want to pack a bag just to go see the amazing equatorial light as described by the author.
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