The sequel to the bestselling Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
Born in England and uprooted to southern Africa as a toddler by her parents, Alexandra Fuller experienced a unique upbringing – both coloured with tragedy and joy – against the backdrop of the Rhodesian wars. Following her marriage to American Charlie Ross, she leaves Africa for Wyoming in the United States. This sequel to the bestselling Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight vividly captures the highs, lows and ultimate dissolution of Fuller’s twenty-year marriage and her unbreakable tie to her African past as she searches for explanations for the present and answers for the future.
Interlaced with stories from her childhood in Africa, Fuller paints a brilliant picture of an expatriate’s love for her homeland, a daughter’s acceptance of her father and the moving journey of her marriage and divorce. Poignant, candid and wistfully humorous, Leaving Before the Rains Come will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen out of love – with a person, idea or a place – and into self-acceptance and the belief that only we can save ourselves.
‘Remarkable, beautifully written and fantastically entertaining… a compulsive read’ Observer
Thinking back to 1994, when the African-raised Fuller (Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness), her American husband, and their infant daughter left their cottage in Zimbabwe for a life in the mountains of Idaho and Wyoming, she writes, "Our marriage wasn't going to be about nearly dying, and violent beauty, and unpredictability... sensible decisions, college funds, mortgages, and car payments." In her newest memoir, Fuller insightfully explores the contrasts between the different landscapes and their corresponding mind-sets, as well as between the safe investment she intended with her marriage and the messy, isolating reality of where the relationship ended. As always, when Fuller describes the African farms of her childhood, her prose vibrates with life and death and dry British sensibility. Equally sharp are her observations about American life and its all-consuming pursuit of convenience and comfort. However, this book also attempts to tackle territory for more familiar to her Western audience a sad, drawn-out divorce complicated by three adored children and piles of debt. Understandably, the utter banality of the day-to-day proves more difficult for Fuller to enliven with her signature punch. Nonetheless, the rich narration of Fuller's upbringing, sensibility, and loneliness make clear that she remains one of the most gifted and important memoirists of our time.