Leaving Before the Rains Come

Leaving Before the Rains Come

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Looking to rebuild after a painful divorce, Alexandra Fuller turns to her African past for clues to living a life fully and without fear.
     A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of 2 deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller's own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and the family she left behind in Africa. A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller.
     Leaving Before the Rains Come begins with the dreadful first years of the American financial crisis when Fuller's delicate balance--between American pragmatism and African fatalism, the linchpin of her unorthodox marriage--irrevocably fails. Recalling her unusual courtship in Zambia--elephant attacks on the first date, sick with malaria on the wedding day--Fuller struggles to understand her younger self as she overcomes her current misfortunes.
     Fuller soon realizes that what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father, the man who warned his daughter that "the problem with most people is that they want to be alive for as long as possible without having any idea whatsoever how to live." Fuller's father--"Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode" as he first introduced himself to his future wife--was a man who regretted nothing and wanted less, even after fighting harder and losing more than most men could bear.
     Leaving Before the Rains Come showcases Fuller at the peak of her abilities, threading panoramic vistas with her deepest revelations as a fully grown woman and mother. Fuller reveals how--after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her--she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves.
     An unforgettable book, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a story of sorrow grounded in the tragic grandeur and rueful joy only to be found in Fuller's Africa.
Publisher: [Toronto] :, Random House Canada,, 2015
ISBN: 9780345814852
Branch Call Number: 306.89 FUL NVD
Characteristics: 258 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

This is the third memoir from Fuller, and I own all three. I have no shared experiences with this author, but I enjoy becoming immersed in her world. It may be odd to say that she's a gifted storyteller, because that's usually what you say about someone who writes fiction. However, she brings her stories to life, and she has an inspiring, heartbreaking and vivid writing style.

SquamishLibraryStaff Apr 19, 2016

An absolutely incredible memoir. Alexandra Fuller writes searingly about her painful but wonderfully adventurous childhood in Africa and the dissolution of her marriage. Her life is filled with unforgettable characters, most notably, her parents. It is both hilarious and heartbreaking. I highly recommend this book that was recommended to me by another member of our staff! Kirsten

Apr 11, 2016


Feb 21, 2016

If you read Fuller’s autobiography Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: an African Childhood you’ll want to read this follow-up book. Here she explores the disintegration of her marriage and how her independent childhood in Africa shaped her and helped lead to the dissolution. As always her writing is compelling and thought- provoking.

Oct 26, 2015

This is a brave and word-worthy memoir. Best if you've read Don't Go.... first so that you can rejoin the family. It irks me that reviewers start out with "this is a book about her divorce." Really only a part of the book and while the catalyst for no doubt writing it, Alexandra can write about anything, but especially her life in Rhodesia and her parents.

Jun 04, 2015

A hard book to get through, obviously author on psychiatric drugs.

Apr 06, 2015

Has a lot to say about both southern Africa and Wyoming and how they've changed over the past two decades, as well as being a very personal story of a cross-cultural marriage and how people are affected by both their places and families of origin.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at NVDPL

To Top