Book Nook: Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, by Alexandra Fuller

Jul 12, 2012

Alexandra Fuller grew up in Africa. Her parents still live there.  "Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness" is her second memoir about her family. Fuller conducted extensive interviews with her parents. This is really their story.

We learn how her mother and father met. We follow their journey through Kenya, Rhodesia, and Zambia. They endured hardships. Some of Fuller's siblings died. There were wars and dislocations. At one point Fuller's mother nearly lost her mind.

Yet somehow they survived. This memoir reads like an adventure novel.  There's a succession of colorful stories here. But mostly this is a love story. There's the powerful love between Fuller's parents. And there is the abiding affection her parents feel for the continent of Africa.

Fuller's mother makes frequent references to the author's previous book about the family. She usually refers to it as "that awful book." In this interview we discover that those pronouncements by her mother cannot conceal one clear truth ; that Fuller was truly born to be her mother's biographer.