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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of…
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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness (2011)

by Alexandra Fuller

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
loved it ( )
  57thbook | Apr 20, 2019 |
Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is a gorgeously written memoir about Alexandra Fuller's life. I had no idea when I first picked this up that this was a continuation of her story, but I can say that reading this has sparked an interest in me to go pick up the first book! The way that Alexandra Fuller writes about her family is so wonderfully vivid that it draws your right in. If it wasn't for the fact that I knew this was a memoir, I could almost believe that Fuller's life was fiction. That's how amazing her memoir really is.

From the beautiful Isle of Skye in Scotland, to the vibrant and lush lands of East Africa, the reader is taken on a journey through Nicola Fuller's childhood and beyond. Alexandra Fuller treats her mother's story as something exotic, but funny at the same time. There were moments that had me giggling out loud, especially as Nicola Fuller is so unabashed about her point of view on things. She says such things as "Here's to us. There's none like us, and if there were, they're all dead."

This book is beautifully written. It swells with wonderful descriptions of the African landscapes and the people who live there. Fuller even goes so far as to incorporate some history lessons on the many wars that have taken place in these areas, since her family grew up in the middle of them. One of my favorite stories was of a "fancy dress party" where Nicola Fuller grabs her girls, grabs her automatic weapon, and packs them off to a party. Unfortunately poor Alexandra doesn't fit in the front (due to her too large costume) and later reflects on how, had they hit a land mine, she wouldn't have been able to tell this story today. Tongue in cheek is the best way to describe Fuller's tone, and I adored it.

Suffice it say that Nicola Fuller is one of those larger than life people who demand the spotlight, and her daughter gives it to her in this gorgeously written memoir. If you were a fan of Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight I am sure you'll find more of the same here, or so I've gushingly been told my numerous people. If you haven't yet had a foray into the life of the Fullers, I'd suggest reading the title above first, then this one. It can definitely be read standalone but then you'll be left like me. Wanting more, and on a search for the first book.

Highly recommended! I give this memoir my gold seal of approval, and my readers know I generally don't read them much. Pick up a copy, and prepare to be swept away into Nicola Fuller's terrifying and exotic life. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (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.
 
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For Charlie—guide extraordinaire—with my love
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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.
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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.

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