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Love in the Driest Season

This month the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club read Love in the Driest Season: a family memoir by Neely Tucker.  Tucker was born and raised in a poverty stricken small town in Mississippi in 1963 where family and race relations loomed large.  His upbringing strongly influenced his major life decisions - marrying a black woman (he is white), becoming a foreign correspondent in war torn areas, and adopting an orphan from Zimbabwe whom he suspected had AIDS. 

In this well written and striking memoir we read of death, disease, destruction, a corrupt government and desperate orphanages, but despite it all, there is a strong current of love, determination, and unfailing hope and ultimately … oh, I’d better not spoil the ending!  You should read this book to find out. 

Many of the members of the book club said they were glad they read Love in the Driest Season because they learned a lot about a time and place that was not familiar to them (Sub-Saharan Africa, late 1990s).  They admired the inner strength of the author who endured a beating, a number of life-threatening situations, severe illness, depression, and infuriating bureaucratic stonewalling during the adoption process.  He remained charming and hopeful beyond what one would expect.  The group was greatly moved by the plight of the orphans, children who were left parentless because of the widespread AIDS epidemic.  The details Tucker writes of will leave you astounded.

Next month the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club will read Planets by Dava Sobel. (It) “explores the creation and evolution of the solar system’s planets through a lens of popular culture, drawing on sources from astrology, science fiction, the fine arts, and other genres to chronicle planetary history in an accessible format.”

Pick up a copy of Planets at the reference desk and join the discussion!

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