Certainly not an action novel, but evokes the sights, smells, and feel of Africa. I loved this family, with their giddiness, pain and flaws, and kept hoping for their success.
Among the best.
It takes you all the way into a completely different world.
It is filled with unique, simpatico characters.
And it is deeply, wildly funny.
Not a literary buff but enjoy classics to Neal Stephenson,Diana Gabaldon, John Irving, Haruki Marukami. Make me think. Apprec. your reviews.
Wonderfully written, generous, courageous and heartfelt.......I haven't finished this yet but thank audible for offering Alexandra's sequel to this story for $5. Otherwise i wouldn't have known of this beautiful narrative or author. A powerful account of an amazing english family forced into a nomadic life by the ever changing politics of the African nations they live in.
Mum-her ecstasy, her madness, her remoteness and at other times her almost too intense engagement in life. A beautiful, vulnerable, strong woman who at times shocked me with her passionate beliefs and actions and disliked at others when her grief dealt cruel disregard for her daughters.
I have a DLitt and Phil Degree which must imply a level of discernment? I just clocked over at 60. The significance is that I have read a whole lot of books. I'm now revisiting some of my all time favourites - and enjoying some first time round books. Books are my friends. Audible is JUST AMAZING - takes me back to pre -TV days, with my ear pressed to a crackly transistor radio - but now SO MUCH better and more 'classy' from a Kindle!
What a great story teller - and what fabulous insight and perspective into the liberation (really) of Rhodesia. What stands out for me is how the loan for the farm simply changed names in the bond holders books. The struggling farmers remained struggling farmers. I think this book has clairvoyant significance for South Africans - as we see our rich and powerful leaders getting richer greedier and more powerful whilst the informal settlements squalor and desperation of the ordinary people grows exponentially. And yet it is the poorest who enable the corruption - leaving the ordinary person no option but to flee. Perhaps why there are millions of Zimbabweans in SA. Where to from here Ms Fuller?
An interesting account of growing up in Africa, written with a unique voice. Definitely worth the time and credit :)
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
This is an incredible story. It is so completely foreign to me how the author and her family lived during her childhood. Ms. Fuller is a brillant story teller and speaks of her unusual childhood and her unconventional and fairly racist parents with such candor that you are drawn into the madness of her life. I could not stop listening.
The narrator was wonderful as always. Ms. Lecatt is always such a joy to listen to I can get enough of her lovely voice.
I have not read the print version.
Fuller writes in a very verbose style. A reader of the print version might find this a plodding and heavy style. By listening to Lecat's excellent narration, I could enjoy the imagery without struggling with the reading.
I got carried away to another time in Africa...
I Loved this book, and was delighted when the audio version recently became available to listeners in South Africa. (Thank you, Audible).
I could relate to everything Fuller wrote (from the longdrop toilets to the earthiness of our being), and admired her simple, factual, undramatic, almost understated style. You need to read/listen between the lines in order to begin to understand the enormous courage, fortitude, endurance which this family lived from day to day. How they continued the struggle of survival, which Africa often is, in the face of all obstacles and severe trials.
A lovely read that reached deep into my heart.
It brought back so many memories.
I still have a bag in my cupboard, with "Rhodesia" and an elephant printed on it. A relic from years since, and yet it stays while others get turfed out. With it is a book, called "Hold My Hand, I'm Dying".
I remember the almost unbearable heat, walking along the Zambezi, each of us carrying a garden umbrella in an effort to shield ourselves from the blistering, dessicating sun. Then the songs we sang as we bumped along in an old pick-up: (regret, composer unknown)
O the stinging tsetse flies and the crocodile eyes
This is no place to dally
For there's no food here and I long for a beer
In the hot Zambezi valley.
In the cool place that i come from
The women are like velvet
The bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay instant omelettes.
Oooooooh the stinging tsetse flies .....
Thank you, Alexandra Fuller. I'm sure you miss Africa and are glad you're gone, all mixed up into one great big emotion.
Lisette Lecat's narration was superb with no jarring accents to a local ear. She seems to have lived in these parts, and has a lovely voice.
I enjoyed this memoir. Partly because I am not familiar with the places and times. Partly because it was about survival, but probably mostly because I loved the reader. Her voice and accents were spot on and made the story come to life.