Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

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by Alexandra Fuller
     
 

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In this sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family.

In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness Alexandra Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her

Overview

In this sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family.

In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness Alexandra Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war- torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola holds dear the kinds of values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land, and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals. Fuller interviewed her mother at length and has captured her inimitable voice with remarkable precision. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is as funny, terrifying, exotic, and unselfconscious as Nicola herself.

We see Nicola and Tim Fuller in their lavender-colored honeymoon period, when east Africa lies before them with all the promise of its liquid equatorial light, even as the British empire in which they both believe wanes. But in short order, an accumulation of mishaps and tragedies bump up against history until the couple finds themselves in a world they hardly recognize. We follow the Fullers as they hopscotch the continent, running from war and unspeakable heartbreak, from Kenya to Rhodesia to Zambia, even returning to England briefly. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken entirely by Africa, it is the African earth itself that revives her.

A story of survival and madness, love and war, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of the author's family. In the end we find Nicola and Tim at a coffee table under their Tree of Forgetfulness on the banana and fish farm where they plan to spend their final days. In local custom, the Tree of Forgetfulness is where villagers meet to resolve disputes and it is here that the Fullers at last find an African kind of peace. Following the ghosts and dreams of memory, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is Alexandra Fuller at her very best.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
If you loved Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight—and I certainly did—you'll want to bury yourself in this sequel. Fuller here focuses more fully on her mother, Nicola, who was born on the Isle of Skye but raised in Kenya and was passionately devoted to family, land, and her belief in the goodness of animals. Then came both personal tragedy and continental upheaval, as Nicola and husband Tim found themselves constantly on the run with their old world collapsing and a new world looming. Now they've found some peace sitting under their Tree of Forgetfulness, a tradition taken from the locals, who gather under such a tree when disputes are to be settled. Everything that made Dogs wonderful reading seems to be here, too: the deep comprehension of sorrow, certainly, but also the dead-on portraits, leavening wit, and, finally, generosity. Get the reading group guide and go to town.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594135453
Publisher:
Gale Group
Publication date:
06/26/2012
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
779,375
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
17 Years

Meet the Author

Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her midtwenties.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Wilson, Wyoming
Date of Birth:
March 29, 1969
Place of Birth:
Glossop, Derbyshire, England
Education:
B. A., Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1992

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