Having loved Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, the author’s memoir of growing up white in what was then called Rhodesia, I was looking forward to Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, which focuses on her mother. This book takes a while to get started. It seems to be terribly polite and stiff upper-lipped for the entire first half, disappointing the reader (but perhaps providing the best description of her mother’s cold upbringing, during which much of what she loves is taken away.) The story gets more interesting starting with her marriage and the start of her husband’s and her wanderings in search of a farm, with no money, independence wars all around, and awful personal losses. It’s very inspiring to see them at the end in their Zambian farm, having reinvented themselves one more time as fish and banana farmers, and, it seems, content.