Scribbling the Cat, by Alexandra Fuller – A few months ago I read Fuller’s first book, “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” and I was hooked. First of all, the title is what caught my attention. Once I started reading I found that Fuller has a completely original voice. Her book told the story of her childhood in Rhodesia where her alcoholic parents were fighting to keep one country in Africa run by white people. The poverty, neglect, and blatant racism that were part of her life are just the background texture to her story. As the reader you know that all these things are completely wrong but the child’s voice telling the story doesn’t. It’s just part of her life and that’s the way things are. Her use of language is unique; she finds ways to describe sounds with sight words, sights with scent words, and so on, all without being wordy. So when I saw that she had written a second book I had to read it; I was not disappointed! That same unique voice is in this book as well. Now she is an adult, married and living in the US, visiting her parents in Africa. She ends up on a journey with a very religious ex-soldier who is falling in love with her … what could possibly go wrong there?! The best (or worst?!) part of this is that everything is true.
Dad really liked this book. In fact, I let him read it before I did! We both felt that Fuller's two books gave us a great deal of insight into our Aunt Hilda. She is my mom's mother's sister. Aunt Hilda grew up in England and moved to South Africa after she was married. She is SO British, and quite a "firecracker" personality. These books helped us to understand her a bit more.