Posted 20 hours ago

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

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Fuller walks as she describes the fall of apartheid from the minority white perspective (without nearly enough contrition, but that's apparently a matter for a different book). These are difficult things to say – get the tone wrong and you will offend almost everyone – but Fuller’s gaze is equally astonishing when she directs it at the bodies of the white people around her. Her voice, tone, and pacing supported the writing perfectly, I kept imagining it was the author herself speaking to me, and I was readily immersed in the dreaminess of the landscape, and the realness of the stories.

The author did an excellent job of plucking out the most memorable moments to produce a flowing narrative. Her choice to use a child's POV is incredibly clever since it allows her to touch on issues like racism, post-colonialism, and dysfunctional family dynamics without needing to present apologies, excuses, or really any editorializing and that let's her experience shine through. Fuller resists the temptation to explain things to the reader, to presume insight she could not have possessed at any given age, of vilifying her parents or glorifying her plucky younger self.A mother who is heartbroken from a loss of a child, who drinks to forget, who fights tooth and nail for her family.

Their farm is seized by the new government and awarded to political cronies under a land distribution programme and they move south to a much harsher ranch, where their diet is based on impala and brackish water from a borehole that is strictly rationed. More troublingly, a victim of a sexual assault is just told not to exaggerate, and the whole thing brushed away. The writing is poetic, yet understated, letting the beauty and harshness of the landscape and her experiences speak for themselves. There is beautifully written passage describing driving through a European settlement and then Tribal Trust Lands: "there are flowering shrubs and trees.Having said that, the whole point of a book club is to challenge oneself to read books outside one's `comfort zone' shall we say. Bobo feels neither African (where she spends most of her childhood) nor British (where she was born). She hardly bothers to blink, it's as if she's a fish in the dry season, in the dried-up bottom of a cracking river bed, waiting for rain to come and bring her to life.

This was Africa, warts and all, observed through the eyes of a child and I found it compelling, often disturbing, and at the same time frequently very funny. Threatened by landmines and soldiers on the outside and from the weight of grief and alcoholism on the inside, her family found a way to navigate forces that destroyed many others.First off, I would say that this is not my usual reading material, which tends to be either cookery books or nasty, grisly Mark Billingham-esque murder mysteries. Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book award, a story of civil war and a family's unbreakable bond. She relates all this, however uncomfortable, without judgment or criticism, and I like the fact that the reader is left to draw their own conclusions. Fuller’s mother pretends to be Scottish, but her heart is African – whether Africa wants that heart, or not.

When, in 1980, the Rhodesian Bush War ends, Fuller and her family move from there to Malawi, then to Zambia, taking over various farms, always barely scraping by, navigating snakes, gunshots, societal shifts and family tragedies.It's a memoir about a white British girl growing up with her family on various farms in different African countries. In accordance with The Post Office, the last recommended date for Christmas posting is 18th December (2nd Class) and 20th December (First class). They love each other not because they as individuals are sympathetic, but because together they survived both Africa and a tumultuous family life. I was captivated by the stark realities of a harsh life: Alexandra grew up in a world where children over five "learn[ed] how to load an FN rifle magazine, strip and clean all the guns in the house, and ultimately, shoot-to-kill.

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