“Leaving Before the Rains Come” by Alexandra Fuller

leavingrainscomeAlexandra Fuller has written several books on her life in southern Africa. This one describes her marriage to an American and her home in the new world.

Fuller was born in England in l969, but moved with her family to a farm in what was then Rhodesia, when she was four years old. Her parents were a courageous but eccentric pair, firm supporters of the colonialism in their adopted country.  So were Alexandra and her sister.

This took a rude shock when Alexandra fell in love with an American guide and went with him to live in Wyoming. The book takes us back and forth between visits “home” (to Africa) and the struggle to maintain her new family and children in the U.S. Fuller is candid about the effect of her father’s spoiling and her own ability to run her life. She also misses the beauty and grandeur of Africa. She writes honestly about her struggle to maintain her marriage, and her sadness when she fails. It is altogether a colourful and brave book.

Reviewed by Anne McDougall