Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness - Alexandra Fuller I'm having such a difficult time writing this review even though I loved this book (or maybe as a result of loving it!).  As a memoir/biography, it had my favorite elements: compelling individuals, a wry writing style, and a tumultuous setting in a location and era I enjoy.I found myself describing this to friends as a kind of apology to Fuller's mother, Nicola, for Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller's memoir of growing up in Rhodesia during the violent conflicts there.  What I've read so far of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight so far is honest (brutally, amusingly, depressingly) and unflinching, and Fuller's mother isn't the most sympathetic.  In this book, Fuller goes back to look at Nicola's childhood, her parents, her experience in Africa, her love for the land, and the impact of the violent losses in Nicola's life. What I so appreciated about Fuller's writing was her balance of affection for her parents and an awareness of the implications of their choices.  She's no colonial apologist or 'when we' romanticizing the era of British control in Africa.  She writes about the violence of late 20th-century Kenya and Zimbabwe succinctly and in a way that felt fair and accurate, that acknowledged the pain and losses on both sides of the conflicts.  By the end of this book, I felt like I knew the Fullers a little.  I liked them (even if I think Nicola Fuller is probably more fun to read about than live with) and I am wholly an Alexandra Fuller fangirl.  This slender book packs a lot of punch and I can't recommend it enough.  Even if the setting or era is alien to you, give it a try as Fuller's writing sucks you in and makes you care. (Plus, lots of extras to guide the reader: maps, a glossary, cast of characters, etc.)(If you do end up reading this, you absolutely have to check out the photo album on Fuller's website after: it was a delight seeing more of the names and places that were familiar to me. I squealed at the sight of the orange Le Creuset pots on a window sill.)