Pages 30-32 Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight By Alexander Fuller
Reading has always been a good escape, a good meditative activity, a way to connect or disconnect. I like to recommend a few good reads in the summer months. Two of the most beautifully written books I have ever read are memoirs by Alexandra Fuller about her childhood in South Africa. The first is Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and the second one is Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. You have to read both and once you read one, you will jump to begin the other. Fuller’s writing is clear, precise, visual and sensual. Fuller does what only great memoirist do: She makes the depressing, even ghastly details inviting because they are juxtaposed with tight, happy, intimate details of the everyday-of the humility and imperfection, and, yes, tragedies of one of her main characters, her mother. I recommend this book to my fellow moms of loss because her parents actually lose three babies. We readers waltz with her mother the whole way almost losing our footing as she almost loses hers, but doesn’t. No matter what, she forges on, a minimalist, often moving and only bringing her family, her dogs and her Le Creuset pot. So, yes, my followers will empathize with the story, cry at the sadness, and marvel at the Fullers' endurance to carry on, but all readers will love the book because Fuller describes the setting like we are there, riding in the back of the pick-up truck, sitting on the veranda drinking afternoon tea with milk or better yet, gin and tonics, walking around the farm in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), or feeling the dry sand from the Zambezi river. After you read these books, you will have a sense of longing for Africa because just as she describes her childhood home in South Africa, telling us the good the bad and the devastating, such is life. What makes us each full of gratitude and cherish our life is the suffering as much as the happiness.I am grateful that my baby, Margaret, connected me to all of you and your babies. Here’s to summer reading and connecting to others via their stories. Enjoy these books and let me know how you like them via email or FB.