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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2015
This book was first published in 2011, has 287 pages, 14 chapters, 16 B/W photos but no maps. The book is dedicated to author's mother. When a Frenchman, already married 3 times tells SARA TUCKER a tale about Africa, she leaves her job, ends her 18 year marriage, closes her apartment in Manhattan and leaves for Tanzania ! She was warned that the longer she lived in Arusha, the poorer she would get. She was also told that the new man in her life had not paid his taxes and his work permit may have also expired. Sara had moved to a house in SEKEI with PATRICK TEXIER and his son Thomas (12). Patrick had lived in Africa for 35 years and lost all his money, moving from Paris to Sierra Leone and then to Tanzania. On a good day, one could see Mt MERU from their house.
Sara had met Patrick on her 1st working safari, when he narrated his African adventures to her. She eventually saw the mad and chaotic life and traffic of Arusha in Jan 1998. In the next 10 years, Arusha had doubled in size. Sara had travelled between New York and Arusha many times. Her difficult married life in New York had come to and end after 18 years. Back in Arusha, Sara married Patrick (55) on 16.11.1999, at the old German Fort. She said Arusha was a dump but she liked it. After the wedding Sara collapsed with exhaustion and it was not malaria. Like many break-ins in near major African towns, Sara's house was also broken into despite an askari outside (asleep).
Patrick was offered a job in anti-poaching in a National Park in TOGO, 3,000 miles away. That year, the short rains failed, crops and cattle were left to die, the dust on the roads was fine, soft and 6 inches deep. The power and water was intermittent. After rains, the dust turned to mud. Fatal crashes were common in roads. Mean while Thomas was suffering from food allergies and rashes and was taken to doctors in Arusha and Nairobi. Sara and Thomas also when to Togo, staying in an apartment in a hotel. Sara remembers Patrick telling her all his years of wanderings and various jobs in different countries of West Africa. He had also grown apart from his first two children - Valerie and Lionel.
After a stay in Togo, full of hassle, Sara, Patrick and Thomas return to grubby Arusha, to collect their belongings to return to Togo. After the rains, Arusha was in blossom and dusty snow on the blown peak of Mt Meru. Patrick's contract in Togo fell through and their house in Arusha was broken in, they decide to leave Tanzania for America in 2001. Patrick's days in Africa were coming to an end. They lived in Westfield, New Jersey. Thomas had behaviour problems, so they moved to Vermont to live with Sara's mother. Thomas flew to Prague to study. Patrick got a job with an Airline. Thomas met his real mother after many years. Patrick still thinks of Africa everyday.
Some other books of interest are:-
(1)The Roaring veldt, Gretchen Cron 1930
(2) My farm in Lion Country, Joyce Boyd 1933
(3) Momella, Maximilian Rogister 1957
(4) A Fly in Amber, Susan Wood 1965
(5) The Otherside of Kilimanjaro, Erika Johnston 1971
(6) Barefoot Over Serengeti, David Read 1979
(7) A Tale of Maasai Girl, Grace Sicard 1998
(8) Where Lion Still Roars, Joyce Baker 2002
(9) Three Dreams on Mt Meru, Devenne 2007
(10)Between Two Fires, Capstick 2011
Having born in Kenya and passed through Arusha 5 times to Northern Tanzanian National Parks, I found this book interesting.
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on 7 February 2014
An interesting read which stirred memories - reminding one of how a life in Africa is so different to elsewhere.
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on 27 August 2014
This is a compelling read, but it lacks any sort of romantic element between Sara and Patrick. They meet on a platonic level and the next thing we know is they are getting married. There is no passion, there are no love scenes, unless I missed them, and the story jumps about so much between the past and the present it is difficult to keep track. Sara and Patrick appear to be more like brother and sister or business partners than lovers, and living in Arusha is only part of the story, the rest is about Patrick's past life in Africa, which didn't seem relevant.
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on 28 December 2012
If you like books about Africa you'll like this, it has it all adventure, suspense, safari, humour, love, family, sadness, wit and reality. Also the great thing about kindle is you can read it again which I plan to do again next year. The only thing I can't tell is how much of this book really happened I mean is it an autobiography? Finally i was sad when it ended, thank you Sara Tucker for a really lovely book!
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on 23 June 2012
Poignant, because it evokes both sadness and happiness at once. A different place, different people, a world away from the humdrum, a pleasant escape for the reader. Strongly recommended, an enjoyable and enlightening read! I give it 5 stars.
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on 27 January 2014
I enjoyed this book about Sara's life in Africa. Sara tells her story of her crazy adventures with her typical white man in Africa.
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on 2 February 2015
great story which unfortunately "meanders" a bit when not talking about Patrick and his exploits. For someone born and raised in Nairobi, a lot of the narrative struck a major chord with me.
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on 29 January 2016
Thought it would be more like the Wilderness family, but more of an account of living in Arusha without any mention of interactions with the animals. Disappointing in that respect.
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on 8 July 2013
An enjoyable read, however somewhat long winded. More of a biography of the husband,s adventures, than the actual life in Arusha.
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on 25 August 2013
I was a bit disappointed. More about her partner and found it hard to follow as alot of toing and froing. Lost concentration.
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