As minority whites in 1970s Africa, Fuller’s family has known the privilege of British colonial rule. Her mother laments that the days of white rule are over and she resents the takeover by majority blacks. It’s hard to imagine a childhood like this: learning to take apart and use guns, passing through checkpoints on the way to boarding school, baboon attacks, electricity in short supply. The family moves from one outpost to another in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia, trying to stay on the good side of authorities. In spite of the dangers and hardships and her mother’s prejudice, Fuller develops an intense love for Africa and the people.
One of my newest favorite books! I listened to Lisette Lecat read this memoir in her authentic South African accent and enjoyed every word, even the tragic stories of loss--of the author's siblings, of the family farm in Zimbabwe. Fuller's parents are larger than life, like Africa itself; that ensures a colorful childhood if not always a comfortable one. For instance: as Fuller's parents are driving her to boarding school, they are stopped by the border patrol. The family doesn't have the expected bribe money, and the company spends a long time bickering about it. At last Fuller's mother, bored with the delay, brashly offers her daughter instead. "Take her!" she shouts, laughing. Fortunately the guards appreciate the joke, and the family is allowed to pass. The struggle for independence in Zimbabwe affected these European immigrants profoundly. Fuller's story illuminated for me what it's like to be a pioneer; how it feels to be considered an outsider in the country you call home; and the danger all around in a developing country.
Loved the narration! I listened to it in the car, and I didn't want to get out! I will look for other books read by Lisette Lecat.
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