While in Ashland last week, I visited a most lovely independent bookstore called Bloomsbury Books. I handed the young woman behind the counter a list of books I was interested in reading. She carefully checked every one of them out on her computer and I found out that many of them were no longer in print and the bookstore didn't have the other ones. I was brave and polite about this depressing news because Bloomsbury Books was the kind of bookstore where it's impossible for me not to fall in love with all sorts of books I didn't know existed. In other words, I wasn't worried about finding something to take away with me. However, the salesclerk continued to study my list of titles and then said, "You know, I think we have something that you might like." She left for a moment and came back with this:
She was right -- this book is the kind of read that delights, even as it occasionally horrifies. The author, Alexandra Fuller (who I'd never heard of before) has a lyrical way with words and I can tell that she loves playing with them. She is sly, clever, humane, human and very funny. Sometimes all at once. And the story she tells, of growing up in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia is one that is so new to me that my world has enlarged and altered as I read it. I love this sort of book most of all.
I'm almost finished with it. But I'm not sad -- there's a prequel and a sequel.