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

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller
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Aug 09, 12

bookshelves: memoirs
Read in August, 2012 — I own a copy

I read Alexandra Fuller's "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" 10 years ago and never forgot it, so when I saw her new book recently in the airport, I had to buy it, even though I had already planned my reading for that trip.

I found the first part of the book (Fuller's mother's history) terribly uninteresting. Very disappointing after being so captivated by AF's previous book. But BECAUSE I had enjoyed her previous work so much, I stuck with it, skimming the pages at best. At about page 90, Fuller finally began to tell a story worth reading. And I found the second half of the book well worth the read.

The story of Fuller's parent's tenacious struggle to make a life in Africa is inspiring. Tim and Nicola Fuller pull together through so much tragedy with an uncommon amount of compassion and love for each other and a stubborn grip on their own dream of Africa.

It was intriguing to me to place where I was during the events in the book. While the Fuller's were fighting a war and struggling to keep a farm going under harsh conditions, including droughts and wars and snakes, I was an oblivious American teenager who's biggest worry was what to wear to the football game on Friday night.

When I was rejoicing at the fall of the Berlin Wall with rest of America, watching from afar on my TV, I had no idea that the reverberations would be felt on the Fuller family farm in far away Africa, robbing them of another farm, another dream.

Fuller's mother's struggle to hold on to her sanity as worked her way through grief is a heartrending and inspirational story. I'm glad that Alexandra wrote this story, facing down her own ghosts in the process. That, in and of itself it also an inspiration. I'm glad I stuck with the book.
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