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Our House in Arusha Paperback – February 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456585444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456585440
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sara Tucker is a writer for Condé Nast Traveler. Her blog is The Hale Street Gang and Me: silverscribblers.blogspot.com.

More About the Author

I grew up in Vermont, studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, then switched to publishing and got a job at Cosmo (Helen Gurley Brown used to give me her hand-me-downs). I now divide my time between Vermont and France. I come from a big family and am fascinated by family relationships in all their glorious confusion. In my first book, Our House in Arusha, I delved into my French husband's family history and examined my own bumbling relationship with my eleven-year-old stepson. My next book (fall 2014) is about the return of a prodigal daughter during her mother's last years.

Customer Reviews

The story is a page turner.
Nan from Vermont
This book is very well written and the author does a great job of weaving the past with the present.
Carrie
Very interesting story, well written, enjoyed this read.
Alice L Gray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Louise L. on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
What happens when a New York City travel writer on safari in Africa becomes an integral part of the tale she's telling? This page-turner of a book recounts the adventures of Ms. Tucker when she falls in love with a wild French man, who has lived most of his life on the continent of Africa, and his young son in the far-off land of Tanzania. Told with warmth and insight is the real life story of raising a young boy in the town of Arusha interspersed with extraordinary moments from her beloved's past--his journeys in the USSR, West Africa, and Chile at the time of the death of Allende. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By cpwren on May 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this book, so glad I happened on it. The writing right from the get go is clear and engaging. For a person who dreams of Africa, as I do, the content is splendid in it's breadth and in Tucker's ability to capture detail, her style is concise and telling.

Simply put, this book boils down to being about love. Love of a continent, it's people, it's exasperations and it's about the author's love of the man who inspired her to remain there with him. M. Texier's life story is one that carries an astonishing breadth politically, with stories ranging from smuggling, poaching in game preserves done by very high level government entities to witnessing the result of the Kissinger/CIA-initiated assassination of Chile's former, democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. The ability to capture all this in Tucker's agile writing style is sheer inspiration.

As well, the story of M. Texier is among the most romantically inspired patchwork hop-skotches through life I have ever heard of. He found in Sara Tucker not only a "proper mother for his son" but one excellent storyteller who, in the end, conveys a very moving heart-felt love for the man and his love for the continent. When in the story it becomes necessary for them to come live in the US, this reader felt très désolé, a sense of loss as keen as any I've known in leaving behind places I've loved. But it is his spirit, his optimism, his ability to make the most of what is which she writes about. Therein lies the love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lena on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just LOVED this book. From start to finish it is
beautiful, engaging, FUNNY, and so wonderful. What an adventure. It was one of
those books that I didn't want to put down. I was sad to have it
end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Caroline on December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I started the book as a "Let me escape the winter for a while", and just could not stop reading it. It is so refreshing not to feel manipulated by an author, and I could not help wondering "what would I have done in her place?". It is the reality of a real life adventure, where surprises, shocking events, love, frustrations, obligations to be fulfilled and burlesque twists are waiting for you! and all of it as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ines on January 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very personal story of somebody who ends up in Africa. For somebody who grew up in Africa this was a big disappointment. There is no real discription of Arusha or other places in Africa. She jumps back and forth too much. The adventures of her husband are entertaining but leaves you with "how did it end" questions. This book is not about living in Africa, it is more like memoirs of Sara Tucker. As such, it is entertaining and well written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Burdick Harmon on April 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sara Tucker's Our House in Arusha is simply wonderful. She captures Africa in all its post-colonial disarray. She casts a wise and loving eye on a kaleidosope of characters, from the French adventurer who steals her heart to his nine-year-old son who needs a mom, to the night watchman who somehow comes into possession of her warm socks, to Mr. Happy God Matoi, who -- while performing her marriage ceremony -- thinks to ask, "Will this marriage be polygamous, monogamous, or potentially polygamous?"

Tucker sees the funny side with a clear eye, while writing with genuine warmth about Tanzania and Togo, about people and places that she might never have seen, had it not been for a chance event that switched her plan to go to Kansas to a safari that took her to the Serengeti and beyond. The people she meets along the way -- and describes with loving accuracy -- all seem to have leapt from the pages of the likes of V.S. Naipaul or Paul Theroux. Our House in Arusha is an adventure story, a love story, a story about making major life changes at a time when most are content to dream about impending retirement. Tucker relates these events with honesty, gentle humor, and descriptions so vivid that you can feel the humidity, see the jacarandas in bloom, and hear the roar of the lions in the bush.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Antonya B. on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love this memoir. Exciting and a real page turner. An epic story of a woman struggling to follow a risk-taking adventurer into the jungles of Africa, who she ends of marrying and becoming the mother of his 10 year-old son. It is a fast and frustrating ride for her but she is in love and her courage, tenacity, and humour shine through all the pages.
Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nan from Vermont on March 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I could not put this book down. You should only start to read Our House in Arusha if you don't have to show up for work the next day because once you start, you will want to know the whole story.

The author went to Tanzania on a whim ("I had meant to go to Kansas"). She was offered an opportunity to join a safari with the expectation that she would fall in love with the experience and write a favorable review for a travel magazine. The safari guide is a Frenchman who has been rambling around the continent of Africa for over 30 years. In that time he has had enough cliff hanger adventures to rival Indiana Jones. The guide, Patrick Texier, invites the author to return for another visit and then another. Gradually she absorbs many of his stories and is charmed by this man, his life and his 9 year old son who "needs a real mother". Back home in New York City she has much unfinished business: a writing career and a loving marriage with a heartbreaking complication. I won't say more about that story--you'll have to read the book to see how she navigates those waters and returns to Tanzania to marry Patrick.

How she navigates the waters of telling the complex and fascinating story of her life in Africa is with tremendous skill and humor. She provides detailed descriptions of the sights and sounds of her new home. The reader is pulled into the setting and can easily imagine being present. She weaves in side stories about the local characters, about learning to be a step parent, about her husband raising a leopard cub and about trying to get the FBI to pay attention to suspicious activity in their neighborhood.
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