Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
In Fuller's new memoir, billed as a combination of prequel and sequel, she focuses on her mother, Nicola Fuller, whose adventurous spirit, droll humor, and abiding love for Africa were challenged by the tragic deaths of three of her young children and her subsequent mental breakdown. Fuller evocatively depicts her mother's Kenya childhood, marriage to Tim Fuller, and the ensuing chaos and joys of raising a family and eking out a precarious living amid the wild and inspiring African landscape. Her eloquent depiction of her mother's darker sides, including racism, alcoholism, and mental illness, reveals a fascinating, flawed, and funny woman whose story illuminates the contradictions and extremes of Africa itself.
“Writing in shimmering, musical prose, Ms. Fuller creates portraits of her mother, father and various eccentric relatives that are as indelible and resonant as the family portraits in classic contemporary memoirs like Mary Karr’s Liars Club and Andre Aciman’s Out of Egypt. She describes how her parents met and fell in love, and traces their peregrinations across the continent of Africa….. "(New York Times)