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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

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A story of survival and war, love and madness, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of Fuller’s parents and of the price of being possessed by Africa’s uncompromising, fertile, death-dealing land. We follow Tim and Nicola Fuller hopscotching the continent, restlessly trying to establish a home. War, hardship, and tragedy follow the family even as Nicola fights to hold on to her children, her land, her sanity. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken by the continent she loves, it is the African earth that revives and nurtures her. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is Fuller at her very best.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 25, 2011 – A sardonic follow-up to her first memoir about growing up in Rhodesia circa the 1970s, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, this work traces in wry, poignant fashion the lives of her intrepid British parents, determined to stake a life on their farm despite the raging African civil war around them. Fuller's mother is the central figure, Nicola Fuller of Central, as she is known, born "one million percent Highland Scottish"; she grew up mostly in Kenya in the 1950s, was schooled harshly by the nuns in Eldoret, learned to ride horses masterfully, and married a dashing Englishman before settling down on their own farm, first in Kenya, then Rhodesia, where the author (known as Bobo) and her elder sister, Vanessa, were born in the late 1960s. The outbreak of civil war in the mid-1970s resolved the family to dig in deeper on their farm in Robandi, rather than flee, to order to preserve a life of colonial privilege and engrained racism that was progressively vanishing. While the girls dispersed as grownups (the author lives in Wyoming with her American husband), the parents managed to secure a fish and banana farm in the middle of the Zambezi valley in Zambia, and under a legendary Tree of Forgetfulness (where ancestors are supposed to reside and help resolve trouble) they ruminate with their visitors over the long-gone days, full of death and loss, the ravages of war, and a determination to carry on. Fuller achieves another beautifully wrought memoir.

Customer Reviews


Blown away,again. Ms. Fuller writes with such keen observation and searing language. A storyteller in her full voice, she tells a tale of Africa, of hardship and beauty, of survival and, ultimately, of love.

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Extraordinary story about extraordinary people in an a place and at a time equally extraordinary. I read it through almost in a single sitting.

It's small wonder Alexandra Fuller is what and whom she is. Nicola Fuller as her mother wouldn't have allowed otherwise. What a woman. Thank you for the introduction.

Cocktail hour under the Tree of forgetfulness

Alexandra has again told the story of harsh, exciting, vibrant & dangerous life of her parents who pioneered a life in Africa. She writes with abandon bringing the reader to the place she has lived and sharing relationships with an understanding of human complexities. Breathlessly describes a violent & exuberant life where Africa belongs to Africans & immigrants are just visiting for a lifetime. If only we could all have the benefit of the tree to aid in recovering from losses in order to live again in the world. A delightful telling of her parents rich life together.

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Aug 23, 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings