Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
ocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulnesstells the story of the author's mother, Nicola Fuller.
Nicola Fuller and her husband were a glamorous and optimistic couple and East Africa lay before them with the promise of all its perfect light, even as the British Empire in which they both believed waned. They had everything, including two golden children. However, life became increasingly difficult and they moved to Rhodesia to work as farm managers. The previous farm manager had committed suicide. His ghost appeared at the foot of their bed and seemed to be trying to warn them of something. Shortly after this, one of their golden children died. Africa was no longer the playground of Nicola's childhood. They returned to England where the author was born before they returned to Rhodesia and to the civil war.
The last part of the book sees the Fullers in their old age on a banana and fish farm in the Zambezi Valley. They built their ramshackle dining room under the Tree of Forgetfulness, which is the meeting place for villagers to resolve disputes. It is in the spirit of this Forgetfulness that Nicola finally forgot - but did not forgive - all her enemies including her daughter. Funny, tragic, terrifying, exotic and utterly unself-conscious, this is a story of survival and madness, love and war, passion and compassion.