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Our House in Arusha

(The Snowbird Chronicles #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  284 ratings  ·  25 reviews
When an American traveler on her way to Kansas ends up in the Serengeti, her life gets a complete makeover. Within months, she is the wife of a French safari guide and the stepmother of an eleven-year-old. In the year that follows, fragile loyalties will be tested as each member of the family struggles to make a place for himself in a tantalizing and dangerous world. Part ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  284 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Kelly Anderson
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Since I live in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania which neighbors the Arusha Region, I probably enjoyed this book more than someone who is not familiar with the area. The author's observations of day to day life in TZ hit home and often made me laugh out loud. The title seems amiss to me. Although there is certainly a great deal of the narrative that involves her time in Arusha, the book also covers her time in Togo and America. Moreover, about half of the book is about her husband's intriguing ...more
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Our House in Arusha" by Sara Tucker, a New York City travel writer, on safari in Africa becomes an integral part of the tale she's telling, her own memoir starting with her first adventure loaded with real life surprises, twists, and turns throughout. She recounts when she falls in love with a wild French man, who has lived most of his life on the continent of Africa, and his young son in Arusha the safari mecca of Tanzania. Reading the book took me back to my own visits to Arusha and Tanzania a ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Follow-Up on my own trip to Arusha

An interesting memoir by a woman who married a most extraordinary man, born French but lived most of his life in Africa. I really related to her first few chapters describing her life in Arusha, Tanzania, but much of her marriage and her husband’s life was in west Africa and involved political coups and corruption. Her husband lived a life of adventure both dealing with governments and all that implies in west Africa, or working with animals and safaris. His wil
Denise Sacks
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
African Life

Great Memoir from the point of view of an American who fell in love and adapted to living in Africa. I will be in Arusha in 6 weeks hence my selection of this book but, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise!!
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and informative memoir of a blended family's life in Tanzania, altho much of the book focuses on the husband's previous doings in West Africa before he married. That portion would make an entertaining book of its own.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
More about her husband's soldier of fortune life than living in Africa. I wanted the latter.
Alec Hastings
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I told my hometown librarian I was reading Our House in Arusha, she said, "You'll find some adventures in that book!" She was right. In the late 1990s Sara Tucker traveled to Tanzania in search of a news story about African safaris. She met and eventually married safari guide Patrick Texier, became stepmother to his son Thomas, and began an African odyssey of her own. Ms. Tucker begins by describing the details of everyday life in Arusha. All those details are entwined with African and expa ...more
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well told and entertaining memoir of the authors, (Sara) first year and a half living in Arusha, Tanzania with her new French husband Patrick Texier ( a restless adventurer) and his young son Thomas. Sara a travel writer from New York, ends up going to Africa in 1996 to take a Safari and write about it for the magazine she worked for. Patrick was her Safari guide and had lived in Africa most of his adult life. Sara ends up leaving a husband and all that she had in the USA to follow her heart, ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I borrowed my sister's autographed copy of the book. Sara Tucker was one of her good friends, growing up in Randolph, Vermont, and Sara is also my sister's husband's cousin. So, it was fun to read about her adventures in Africa. Sara was writing a series of travel articles and was supposed to go to Kansas but her editor sent her to Tanzania on a complimentary trip sponsored by hotels, parks, and tour operators so hopefully her articles about the experience would follow with paying customers. Wha ...more
This was a very "familiar" book. I have lived in so many of the places that the main character traveled, lived and worked, so it was all so believable, and yet unbelievable, when you "read his resume". I felt like I knew him and could have been listening to his stories around the campfire, while telling a few of my own (perhaps less exotic, but exciting enough for me). What I could not quite understand was the comfort in "living on the edge"- financially more than anything else, but I guess this ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book in anticipation of a safari trip to Tanzania and it was exactly what I needed. The book is about a woman who has married a crazy Frenchman who has gotten into all kinds of crazy stuff in his life. They live in Arusha, Tanzania, where most of the northern circuit safaris start from. It touched on living in the wild and being a little wild, as well as the difficulties of living in Africa. At the beginning when the author talks about their life in Arusha, it reminded me a lot of wh ...more
Rachel MacNaught
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
well, this felt pointless.
it felt as though it had no reason to exist. no trajectory, no grand scheme or real plot - i couldn't for the life of me figure out what the book was supposed to be about. it just sort of flitted around on a weak premise of being about life in Arusha though the story and the narration kept leading away from the topic. somehow a book about life in Africa left me having gleaned absolutely nothing about Africa.

there were moments here and there i appreciated - first comin
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014, africa, memoir
Read for my Around the World in 80 Books challenge (Tanzania)

This book felt like two separate writing projects that did not quite coalesce. I enjoyed how Tucker describes the simple pleasures and everyday frustrations of ex-pats living in Tanzania and Togo, but I wish the dubious international adventures of the writer's safari guide/spy/crocodile hunter husband had not been quite so prominent. Stiil, worth reading for the glimpses into life in Arusha (as well as Togo and Sierra Leone) and Sara T
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the book, but her style read more to me like a magazine writer than a biography. The cultural differences were naturally comical, but the mishaps needed to be balanced a bit more with beauty. More "Out of Africa" to remind me why they endure the danger and discomfort. I read it most of the way through, but just wasn't feeling engaged enough to not set it aside.
Gail Hamilton
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
An American woman gives up her life in New York to move to Tanzania to be with a French safari guide that she fell in love with. It is interesting, she does not seem to romanticize living in Africa, but it was not a riveting read.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting read, but a little bit confusing as the chapters and incidents were rather disconnected. The writing isn't bad, and some interesting stories and descriptions about African life through the eyes of an American, but could have done with much better editing.
Rodolfo Milos
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought it was her story, then it became his story, and again hers and theirs. Nice, ...get out of your office, go live some real life! Ok, I'll accept the fact that we all get old and need to think retirement.
Aimee Kudrna
Feb 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
One of the first books in a long time that I actually stopped reading. The writing is so poor, I can not even follow it and so jumps from point to point, I have no idea what the author is talking about. It is just to difficult to even finish reading.
Ashlie Corbin-slunaker
Quite dull.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
not what I expected. more about Sara's husband's life than hers in Arusha
Avary Doubleday
Misleading title. I read a LOT of books set in and about Africa and this was really disappointing.
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Poorly written, often incoherent.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Read while in Tanzania, it was nice to get a more personal perspective on living in the area.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
What could have been a very interesting story, is told so haphazardly it's difficult to follow.
Swantje Edwards
rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2016
Barbara Cohn
rated it liked it
Jul 31, 2015
Barbara Ann
rated it really liked it
Dec 18, 2017
Esann de Kock
rated it really liked it
May 22, 2014
Andrew M Gruesser
rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2017
alison hazel
rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2018
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I grew up in Vermont, studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, then switched to publishing and got a job at Cosmo (Helen Gurley Brown used to give me her hand-me-downs). I now divide my time between Vermont and France. I write nonfiction--I seem to be incapable of making stuff up. I come from a big family and am fascinated by family relationships in all their glorious confusion. I ...more

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The Snowbird Chronicles (2 books)
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“Just before our wedding, a German coffee farmer warned me that I was about to make a big mistake. “The longer you live in Arusha, the poorer you’ll be,” he said. “Don’t give up your life in America. There is nothing for you here.” My” 0 likes
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