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Download Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir Audiobook, by Neely Tucker Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.08 out of 54.08 out of 54.08 out of 54.08 out of 54.08 out of 5 4.08 (38 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Neely Tucker Narrator: Michael Kramer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2003 ISBN: 9781415902370
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In 1997 foreign correspondent Neely Tucker and his wife, Vita, arrived in Zimbabwe. After witnessing the devastating consequences of AIDS and economic disaster on the country’s children, the couple started volunteering at an orphanage where a critically ill infant, abandoned in a field on the day she was born, was trusted to their care. Within weeks, Chipo, the baby girl whose name means “gift,” would come to mean everything to them.

Their decision to adopt her, however, would challenge an unspoken social norm: that foreigners should never adopt Zimbabwean children. Against a background of war, terrorism, disease, and unbearable uncertainty about the future, Chipo’s true story emerges as an inspiring testament to the miracles that love—and dogged determination—can sometimes achieve.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a gorgeous mix of family memoir and reportage that traverses the big issues of politics, racism, and war.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A triumph of heart and will. O, the Oprah Magazine
  • An extraordinary book of immense feeling and significant social relevance. Love in the Driest Season challenges anyone—even those numbed by the world’s abundant cruelty—not to care. Washington Post
  • Unceasingly compelling and filled with soaring highs and lows, Love in the Driest Season is a remarkable memoir of love and family. Pages
  • A gorgeous mix of family memoir and reportage that traverses the big issues of politics, racism, and war. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Utterly heartfelt and truly inspiring. Booklist (starred review)
  • Tucker’s hard-hitting memoir . . . is an almost unbelievable tale of bureaucracy, lunacy, and love. The suspense is stomach-wrenching and infuriating. Orlando Sentinel
  • “An affecting, powerful memoir of…struggles to adopt a baby girl in Zimbabwe, where the adoption laws are extremely strict…Utterly heartfelt and truly inspiring.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 2/16/2014

    " This memoir covers the life of Neely Tucker, a journalist, who while stationed in Zimbabwe, falls in love with a sweet little African girl and begins the difficult journey of international adoption. The book discusses racial matters: Neely is a white male from the deep South of Mississippi, his wife, Vita, is an African American woman from Detroit. These characteristics actually prove to be hindrances to the obstacle of adopting Chipo. The book is actually pretty intense, Neely is an active journalist correspondent, who travels to some dangerous places and lives the complete jet-set lifestyle. After reading this I could never be an internationalist journalist, at least not one that covers the subjects he did, and I could not be married to one. It is touching to see the sacrifices and changes he is willing to take to adopt his daughter. It was so frustrating to read how inept and corrupt the Zimbabwean government system proved to be, especially in regards to foreign adoptions. The descriptions of the orphanages were so heart wrenching. The AIDS epidemic/statistics/consequences were very sobering. Although depressing at times, this book is about perseverance and the triumph of a family against all odds. Favorite Quote: Sitting in that chair, my blue store apron on and a stupid look on my face, I think I understood for the first time that the word I had used said nothing about Theron, about the actor, or even about black people in general. It said boatloads, however, about me.” "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 2/13/2014

    " I have not given many books 5 stars. This book is incredible. The true story is about the author and his wife fighting to adopt a Zimbabwean infant in the midst of racial and cultural battles. Their perserverance was inspiring and I appreciated learning about Zimbabwe and the AIDS crisis. But the crowning reason for the 5 stars is Neely Tucker's writing style. He is talented, real, and entertaining. I highly recommend this book!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 1/25/2014

    " I don't know much about AIDS in Africa. I felt like I learned a bit about it after reading this book. It was well written and interesting. The great part is that the author not only told the story about adopting thier daughter, but also told about some of the political and social troubles these countries have been having. Overall I thought it started out pretty sad, but definitely perked up. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys memoirs or location reads. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yvonne | 1/24/2014

    " A book to keep you on the edge of your seat, Mr. Tucker's account of living and adopting in Zimbabwe is troubling and hard to put down. He writes about the horrifying collapse of family structure due to the AIDS epidemic in Africa with great perception and clarity. The plight of orphans in Zimbabwe is terrible to learn and this book offers no hope for improvement, which is the unfortunate reality of the situation. The specifics of his personal journey are fascinating but made me very anxious to read. Until the very end of the book, it is not clear how his family's situation could be resolved. A very good book, well-written and edifying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liv Kirk | 1/20/2014

    " A true eye opener and heart wrencher. I loved the surprisingly blunt open authentic and raw writing and the diversity of real world issues laid out for inspection in the midst if this picturesque love story. With gratitude and love for the entire Tucker family for sharing their lives and experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsten Allen | 1/19/2014

    " A great book for two reasons, a)it is about Zimbabwe, b)about adopting a foreign child. Read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lanie | 1/18/2014

    " This was a fascinating book! True story of an American couple living in Zimbabwe and their struggle to adopt a Zimbabwean orphan. An amazing story of love and perseverance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Briannaheldt | 1/16/2014

    " Quite possibly one of the best authors I've ever read. An amazing memoir that will draw you in and you won't be able to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 1/14/2014

    " A fascinating memoir of the author's time spent as a foreign correspondent in Zimbabwe in the late 1990s and the efforts of he and his wife to adopt a critically ill baby girl who they encounter when volunteering at a local orphanage. The conditions at the orphanage are heartbreaking and the difficulties they face in maneuvering the intricacies of politics and social service bureaucracy in the war-torn country frustrating beyond belief. This first-hand account is helpful in showing the reader some of the realities of life in a part of Africa that is besieged with poverty, the horrors of the AIDS epidemic, and the effects of corruption and government abuses. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shellie | 1/13/2014

    " Amazing and very engaging. I loved how Tucker writes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle Engebretsen | 12/28/2013

    " This is an amazing true story of international adoption set in Zimbabwe! It was a totally different perspective and because the author is a reporter, he tells some pretty harrowing stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 12/26/2013

    " I loved this book, for reasons too obvious to list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frodo | 12/23/2013

    " I couldn't put this book down. The journey of this family is one that inspires hope and mindfulness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandi Singer | 12/3/2013

    " An amazing story of how perseverance pays off the presence of over whelming adversity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kara | 11/24/2013

    " Didn't finish it. An interesting story, but lost my interest with all of the side stories about Neely's assignments. I would have liked to hear more about the wife/baby. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clarissa | 10/14/2013

    " Very interesting book about the struggles of life and having determination to overcome them. Sometimes very sad, but always with hope in not giving up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jr | 9/22/2013

    " An unbelievable story and one of my favorite books ever. Was stopped in the subway on several occassions while carrying this around by random people saying "isn't that book great." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 8/6/2013

    " I loved this book. It could be that this topic is just close to my heart, but i do think writing was really well done. Amazing journey through one of the most difficult situations I can imagine. Also an interesting insight into the AIDS epidemic and recent events in Zimbabwe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 6/6/2013

    " Good read. Left an indelible imprint on my heart about AIDS/orphan crisis in Africa. Made me realize, though, that without Christ the deep calling and full beauty of adoption can't be realized despite the deep love and commitment of this couple and their plight to adopt their daughter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 4/17/2013

    " Really liked this book. It is a great story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beatriz Adriana | 10/24/2012

    " Amazinz story about adoptin a little African kid . About love and determination "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 9/16/2012

    " One of the first non fiction books I REALLY enjoyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meggityb | 9/5/2012

    " I read this as our family began the process of adoption... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ejhicks | 3/7/2012

    " Touching firsthand account by an American journalist stationed in Zimbabwe about his family's decision to adopt a Zimbabwean child. His tales of personal and professional sacrifice, as well as his adventures navigating the bureaucratic process in a developing country, resonated with me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 7/29/2011

    " Actually, I listened to this book during a long drive. Excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 4/28/2011

    " Too much caffeine and a bad storm? This book is one to read all. night. long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 4/21/2011

    " This book made me thankful for our relatively easy adoption process. It also broke my heart to hear the plight of Zimbabwe's orphans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/25/2011

    " The true life story of what happens when you open yourself up to life, love, and a world bigger than your own problems. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laur2367 | 2/6/2011

    " Not a bad book but very predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 1/13/2011

    " A memoir of a US journalist in Zimbabwe in the 90's. The book gives a very sad, close-up view of AIDS orphans and focuses on the author's determination to adopt one of them. Interesting writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/3/2011

    " moving,tremendously sad memoir of Tucker's life as a journalist in zimbawe,his marriage to an african american woman,and their struggles in adopting and rescuing a baby,Chipo, there.depicts the pain of african nations and the fear and ignorance that allows aids to flourish.well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 12/28/2010

    " This book is obviously written by a journalist. His worldview and love for his daughter are really worth respecting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 12/14/2010

    " wonderful book...the true story of a reporter and his wife, assigned to Zimbabwe, who moved heaven and hell in their efforts to adopt a child from that country while they were stationed there. great writing and a great insight into at least a slice of life in Zimbabwe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 11/21/2010

    " I loved this book, for reasons too obvious to list. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane | 11/18/2010

    " This book was not for me. So many babies dying of AIDs was just too sad. There weren't enough uplifting parts to balance it out and make it more readable. It as eye opening though. That's why I'm giving it 2 stars instead of 1. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 10/24/2010

    " I LOVED this book. It was frustrating to read what the family went through to adopt. The adoption policies in some countries is just baffling. It's a happy ending though, and you know it will be throughout the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 9/27/2010

    " Oh my word, I loved this book. It's so well written and, I'll admit it, it made me bawl... in a good way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 9/22/2010

    " Part adoption tale, part foreign correspondent in corrupt war torn country tale. Engaging, heart-breaking and joyous. "

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About the Author
Neely Tucker is a staff writer for the Washington Post. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his family.
About the Narrator

Michael Kramer has narrated many audiobooks over the last twenty years; his favorite authors include Donald E. Westlake, Thomas Perry, and Robert Jordan. He has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards for his work. He lives in the DC area, where he also works in theater as an actor and director.