“put down half way through ...although I liked it, I had to read anothe rbook, now I just can't seem to re-start it”Karen Halter wrote this review Thursday, June 21, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I would describe this book as a cross between The Glass Castle and The Poisonwood Bible. It's a memoir and like all memoirs must be taken with a bit of skepticism. Seriously, no one could possible remember, with that level of detail, events which happened when they were a small child. But this book is interesting in that it takes place in a place and at a time that I knew very little about. It follows the less that prosperous fortunes of a white African family during a time of almost constant war and stuggle in southern Africa. There are some funny moments in this book, but mostly it's filled with struggles and sadness as seen through the eyes of a little girl.”Heather F wrote this review Friday, April 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really an eyeopening childhood. Such a unique upbringing. Finely told and ever hopeful story of one child's lucky survival in a very loving but flawed family”Sallyhalle wrote this review Saturday, April 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is an unapologetic account of a white girl being raised in (Rhodesia), Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Fuller explores the complexities of family, the ambiguity of identity, the tragedies in poverty, and the nuances of communities. I really enjoyed this book. Thanks, Amber, for the recommendation!”Sarah L wrote this review Tuesday, March 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Alexandra Fuller, or "Bobo" as she is called throughout the book, tells her story of growing up in Africa during the Zimbabwean war for independence. The war sets the backdrop for a life in an unforgiving land, and a family too stubborn to give up. Born in England, Bobo spend nearly her entire life until her university years moving from god forsaken land to god forsaken land through out Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. Always the "muzungu" outsider, her white face and upbringing set her entirely apart from her African peers. Her father is a rugged and determined man. Her mother is slowly loosing her mind, and sadly some of her children to the harsh life afforded in the African desert.
Almost unbelievably, her family continues to find ways to thrive in Africa despite having lost Rhodesia to the new Zimbabwe and the dangers that seem to lurk everywhere. From "terrorists" (their name for the Zimbabwean independence army) to land mines at any turn in the road. Her parents slept with guns in their hands, and drank to dull the pain of their sometimes terrifying existence.
Fuller writes in such a way that she evokes the sights, sounds and smells of Africa so completely that you feel like you are there. She describes the heat by the sound it makes, the colors by the smells she associates with them, the smells by the emotions and tactile senses they evoke. The story is captivating, her parents are almost unbelievable. Her mother's not-so-slow descent into insanity, her sister's quiet strength, and the constant and unyielding Africa make for such an engrossing story that I could hardly put it down. It made me miss Zambia with a longing I didn't know I felt for the country. It was wonderful to be taken back there through her eyes.
The one thing I found difficult about the book was her constant jumping in timeline and how she spoke of everything in present tense. Most of the time I could flow with that, but occasionally it would take me completely out of the story while I tried to put things into order in my head. Otherwise, it's an amazing memoir.”
“I liked, but didn't love thus book. The timeline was a little difficult to follow st first, but that could be because I am easily distracted these days. It got much better as I read along, getting to know the characters better,”Readerrabbit wrote this review Sunday, February 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I am abandoning this book, something I rarely do after a month and half I just cannot get it into let alone finish it.”Nicole Parnell wrote this review Wednesday, January 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“very interesting - not a page turner but still an enjoyable read. ”Julie F wrote this review Sunday, January 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bleak but very well written”Lucy wrote this review Sunday, December 18, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I truly loved this book. Being a fan of colonialist fiction (e.g., Out of Africa, Kim, Raj Quartet, etc.) I found Fuller's account of colonial Africa eye-opening, heart-breaking, humorous, hair-raising and tragic all at once. The anxiety laden traumas are balanced by laugh-out-loud passages thanks to the antics and comments of the author's colorful mother. A wonderful book.”Haworth wrote this review Monday, August 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No