Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of…

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness (2011)

by Alexandra Fuller

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6132815,886 (3.81)63



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 63 mentions

English (27)  Dutch (1)  All (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Pretty good book but not as good as the first. It is best to read her first book before reading this one. ( )
  bugs5 | Mar 22, 2015 |
This was an enjoyable reading. I liked the very personal insight of Fuller's family history, especially that of her mother, and their view of some African political events which were told in the world press differently. These very personal memories make this story so diversified and interesting. It's amazing how Nicola Fuller always found a way back to life even though with all those tragic moments she escaped into her own world. I admire her strength for every comeback. There were parts which made me reflective but there were parts I had to laugh out loud. ( )
  Ameise1 | Feb 1, 2015 |
3.5 stars

Alexandra Fuller is writing primarily about her mother's life, but also a bit about her father's in this book. Her mother, Nicola, was born in Scotland, but lived most of her life in Central Africa. Nicola loved to sing and enjoyed drinking, but was prone to depression at times.

I enjoyed this. In addition to the biography itself, it was interesting to learn a little bit about what was going on in Africa at the time. It's quite short and fast to read. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jan 6, 2014 |
First book I've read by this author, and can't say I'll be seeking out another. It was testing to following and didn't really seem to have a point. There were a few funny parts; however, these could have just as easily been short stories as opposed to being a detail within this memoir. While there is an illusion of chronology, the bird-walks into memories get confusing and end abruptly.

The war over apartheid and historical commentary on the political state of Africa in its entirety serves more as a reason for the family's many moves than significantly informational. The importance and the struggle of this time frame come off as being grossly underwhelmed as Alexandra Fuller focuses on her parents' lack of reaction, to the point of offense at times. Denying and downplaying the significance does not better the situation; but then again, many people have similar coping mechanisms. It is almost like the historical bits are asides, a less important factor to the life and attitude of focused character (the matriarchal "Nicola Fuller of Central Africa"). Perhaps this is the definition of a memoir and why I don't read very many. ( )
  Sovranty | Jan 3, 2014 |
I read this together with her previous memoir, "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight," and I enjoyed thinking about how these two books overlap (quite a lot) and how they differ. The earlier one centers on the life of the author herself, with her mother as a strong presence. The later book centers on her mother, and to a lesser extent, her father. Both books give an interesting perspective (that of the well-lubricated retreating colonizers) on central African history of the 20th century. The first book is more even in quality. The second book has a few annoying tics (sorry, I thought the repeated use of the phrase "two million percent" was tiresome), but it has some really great passages that more than make up for the tics. ( )
  jpe9 | Aug 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
“Cocktail Hour” is disturbing in places, funny in others. It pulses with life and love. Nicola’s voice threatens to drown out everyone else’s, but fortunately she’s hilarious, creative, opinionated, ribald and tragic.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Charlie—guide extraordinaire—with my love
First words
Our Mum—or Nicola Fuller of Central Africa, as she has on occasion preferred to introduce herself—has wanted a writer in the family for as long as either of us can remember, not only because she loves books and has therefore always wanted to appear in them (the way she likes large, expensive hats, and likes to appear in them) but also because she has always wanted to live a fabulously romantic life for which she needed a reasonably pliable witness as scribe.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Traces the stories of the author's parents' respective childhoods in Kenya and England, recounts her own upbringing in Africa, and offers insight into the impact of their beliefs and the waning of the British empire on her parents' marriage.

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
163 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.81)
1 4
2 7
2.5 1
3 29
3.5 19
4 73
4.5 9
5 29

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 118,534,543 books! | Top bar: Always visible