Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

From Catherine Given
author: Fuller, Alexandra
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
Fuller weaves a colorful, disturbing, and finally inspiring story of her
childhood in Africa. This story makes Isak Dinesen’s “Out of Africa” (“which I also loved”) “seem like Pollyanna.” Gritty, suspenseful and at times gory, this story is like a defibrillator for the cushy, suburban heart.  In true and perceptive detail, “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” depicts Fuller’s early life as a bright and gutsy white girl growing up at the mercy of her idiosyncratic homesteader parents in mid-19th-Century southern and central Africa.  I marveled at her ability to recall with meaningful understanding events that she had experienced as a pre-teen.  We see the family’s life in an Africa resplendent with natural beauty yet raw in its relentless intensity amid political unrest.  Not only are members of the family devoured by insects, and subject to bouts of malaria –they face overwhelming challenges, including for one period, mistreatment due to extreme racial prejudice as the only whites in the region.  Their lifestyle is also deeply affected by the mother’s alcoholism, which worsens as tragedy repeatedly strikes. I couldn’t put it down.

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