leaving before the rains I have read Alexandra Fuller’s previous memoirs and the best was her first, Don’t Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight where she writes boldly about her family tragedies while she was growing up in Zimbabwe and then Zambia.  Her two other books after that were Scribbling the Cat and Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness, which while good weren’t as good as the first. They lived on farm at one point in the seventies, during the height of the war in Rhodesia where it was extremely dangerous to travel around what with the risk of driving over a land mind on the dirt roads or getting attacked by the  “terrs”- the terrorists or the freedom fighters, depending on which side you were on.  In comparison, I grew up at the same time, in a relatively safe town (Marandellas – or Marondera now) and my Dad was very grounded and lived for nearly thirty years in our home there until he died.  Somewhat different to the Fullers.  It wasn’t all plain sailing for my family, we never had a lot of money, and my Dad worked hard to pay the house off over 25 years.  One could say I might have had an almost boring childhood compared to Alexandra Fuller’s, even though we grew up in the same era.

Leaving Before The Rains Come, is more a memoir of her marriage and divorce, how she adjusted to life in America, after she and her husband left Zambia, where her parents had moved, to farm, after they had left Zimbabwe.  The story is interspersed with her memories of growing up in Zambia and it makes for an interesting and good read.