You can survive more than you'd believe; Dad had told me that. He'd also told me you can survive more than you want; but it's not always up to you, not the enormous things, those are beyond all control.
When her father becomes gravely ill on holiday in Budapest, Alexandra Fuller rushes to join her mother at his bedside. Defiant until the end, together they see out his last days, and then they must navigate the bleak comedy of organising a cremation and the transport of ashes back to their family home in Africa. As they make this journey and begin to grieve together, Fuller realises that if she is going to weather her father's loss, she will need to become the parts of him that she misses most.
A master of time and memory, Fuller moves seamlessly between the days and months following her father's death, and her memories of a childhood spent running after him in southern and central Africa. And her own life begins to change. She faces seemingly irreparable family fallout, new love found and lost, and eventually further, unimaginable bereavement, holding fast to the lessons her father taught her about how to survive, whatever life throws at you.
Writing with reverent irreverence of the rollicking misadventures of her mother and father, bursting with pandemonium and tragedy, here is a story of joy, resilience, and vitality, from a writer at the very height of her powers.
Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her mid twenties. In 1994, she moved to Wyoming.
Coping with death & bereavement