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Extended Audio Sample Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness Audiobook, by Alexandra Fuller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,293 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexandra Fuller Narrator: Bianca Amato Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781461813590
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In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and to her unforgettable family. At the heart of this family, and central to the lifeblood of her latest story, is Fuller’s iconically courageous mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye to a warlike clan of highlanders and raised in Kenya’s perfect equatorial light, Nicola holds dear the values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land, and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals.

We see Nicola as an irrepressible child in western Kenya, then with the man who fell in love with her, Tim Fuller. The young couple begin their life in a lavender colored honeymoon period; but in short order, an accumulation of mishaps and tragedies bump up against history until the Fullers find themselves in a world they hardly recognize. We follow Tim and Nicola as they hopscotch the continent, restlessly trying to establish a home, from Kenya to Rhodesia to Zambia, even returning to England briefly. War, hardship, and tragedy seem to follow the family even as Nicola fights to hold onto her children, her land, her sanity. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken by the continent she loves, it is the African earth—and Tim’s acceptance of her love for this earth—that revives her.

Following the ghosts and dreams of memory, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is Alexandra Fuller at her very best.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An eccentric, quixotic and downright dangerous tale with full room for humor, love and more than a few highballs.”

    Huffington Post

  • “An artistic and emotional feat.”

    Boston Globe

  • “The reader is rewarded with an intimate family story played out against an extraordinary landscape, told with remarkable grace and style.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tirune

  • “The writer’s finesse at handling the element of time is brilliant, as she interweaves near-present day incidents with stories set in the past. Both are equally vivid…With Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Alexandra Fuller, master memoirist, brings her readers new pleasure.”

    Cleveland Plain-Dealer

  • One of the 2011 Bookpage Most Anticipated Book
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2011
  • A 2011 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 1/23/2014

    " Fun follow-up stories to her first novel. Humorous and enlightening of life in mid-Africa. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne Barlow | 1/21/2014

    " I loved 'Don't Let's Go To the Dogs Tonight'' and this bio rounds the story off so well. I finally understand the author's parents and what kept them in Africa, no matter the setbacks. This is contemporary Africa, the Africa I know and love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 1/19/2014

    " Just downloaded this book on my Kindle! I'm so excited to read it. Loved Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight by the same author who grew up on Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 1/15/2014

    " I love reading about the Fuller family... this awful book is one big love letter to Nicola Fuller of Central Africa and I truly hope she finds it worthy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashleigh | 1/9/2014

    " I cried my way through this book on a sun lounger during our yearly fly and flop holiday, which is light years away from the similar upbringing I shared with the author. I loved this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martine Taylor | 1/6/2014

    " Love this book - love the humor, writing style, and the characters and events that seem too big and colorful to be non-fiction. A little slice of history, some very personal losses, a healthy serving of humor and pluck. Good stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally Wessely | 1/6/2014

    " I rarely read a book in one day. I read nearly this entire book in one sitting. The story, the setting, and characters are fascinating. The fact that this is a story of the author's parents makes it even more fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 1/1/2014

    " I liked this book which is about BoBo,s mother but I think you should read them in order--don't let's go to the dogs tonight, scribbling the cat and than this one. They really give you insight on living in Africa. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marcelle | 12/25/2013

    " The author just narrates her mother's life in Africa which wasn't much of a life to narrate. Not much about Africa, family moving from job to job .... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 12/7/2013

    " I enjoyed this book but it read almost like a supplement to some bigger thing. From the reviews I read, I think "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" might be that thing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 11/16/2013

    " I didn't realize when I picked this up that it was a sequel. Once I got used to the author's way of jumping around a story, I enjoyed this read about a woman and her family growing up in southern Africa. It was good enough that I'm going to pick up the first book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivan Ferko | 11/13/2013

    " An autobiographical work that describes the authors family history and entwines it with vivid descriptions of Africa and the challenges of family life during the turbulent 20th century. Great fun short read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 10/27/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book- could not put it down. It is written with such pathos and humor and yet describes the hard life in Africa of a family our age. I hope the author has another book in her as this is one of my all time favorites!!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 10/23/2013

    " Engaging, informative, both funny and heartbreaking, you journey through her childhood in colonial Africa. Alexandra Fuller succeeds in transporting us into snapshots of her life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheila Grier | 10/15/2013

    " Africa a brutal place to raise family and survive. this was a funny story but also very sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jude Grebeldinger | 8/8/2013

    " A memoir of life in Rhodesia as a sad and violent war enroches yet rich with family flavor and faithfulness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexandra | 6/7/2013

    " If possible, even more poignant than "Don't let's go to the dogs tonight". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 5/22/2013

    " Utterly fascinating, complex, violent, compassionate, vivid, heartbreaking and funny, all at once. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 10/5/2012

    " Just barely a 3! I found the story too meandering, choppy, not terribly engaging. I was drawn to read it due to my affection for Africa. Disappointing--not in Africa, but in the people that the story was about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norah | 8/11/2012

    " Now I want to go have cocktails with Tim and Tub under the Tree of Forgetfulness! And Bobo, too, of course. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Bland | 7/17/2012

    " Great book about Africa! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pauline Holman | 7/13/2012

    " Well written. Heartwarming, funny and tragic all at once. I enjoyed this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Bowman | 3/2/2012

    " This was a wonderful story- I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was superb. Highly, highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 10/29/2011

    " I enjoyed this book especially since I had not read the author's first memoir. Her parents were eccentric to say the least but also brave and survivors. Who knew what happened to the Caucasian Africans once independence and majority rule took over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/29/2011

    " I've been reading childrens' memoirs of their parents lately and this one moves swiftly. I was prepared for the story as I'd read DON'T LET'S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT. I particularly like the voice of this one, the way the author weaves her mother's words into her own observations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan | 10/28/2011

    " I really reading Alexandra Fuller. She is honest and unapologetic. Plus I am mystified by Africa. This book is about her maternal line - mainly focused on her mother. She doesn't hide her mom's flaws and yet the love and respect for her mom's strength and brazenness shines through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 10/27/2011

    " Such a cool story - I want to be Nicola Fuller of Central Africa! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nico | 10/23/2011

    " I liked the book. Africa is such a wonderfull place and we sometimes forget the history that got us here.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 10/22/2011

    " Her first book was more enjoyable (Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, but I liked this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kira | 10/18/2011

    " Loved it - but really
    the main thing to know is: the
    cover photo is real. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danie | 10/16/2011

    " I love reading about Alexandra "Bobo" Fuller's life and family growing up in Africa. She is undeniably candid about everything.

    This memoir focused on her focused on her parents (mainly her mother) and their life living in Africa. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 10/16/2011

    " I loved the dry humor of her writing, as well as the story of a family that could have been termed disfunctional, but made their lives work in spite of war, poverty and family quirks. A different view of independence history of Rodesia (Zimbabwei) Zambia and Kenya. "

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About the Author
Author Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her mid-twenties. In 1994, she moved to Wyoming. She is the author of three memoirs, including the New York Times bestseller Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness.

About the Narrator

Bianca Amato is an actress and narrator born and raised in South Africa. Trained at the University of Cape Town’s Drama school, she went on to work in theater and television in South Africa before moving to New York in 2002. She is the winner of five AudioFile Earphones Awards and Audie Awards.