Love in the Driest Season

Love in the Driest Season

A Family Memoir

Book - 2004
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Foreign correspondent Neely Tucker and his wife, Vita, arrived in Zimbabwe in 1997. After witnessing firsthand the devastating consequences of AIDS on the population, especially the children, the couple started volunteering at an orphanage that was desperately underfunded and short-staffed. One afternoon, a critically ill infant was brought to the orphanage from a village outside the city. She'd been left to die in a field on the day she was born, abandoned in the tall brown grass that covers the highlands of Zimbabwe in the dry season. After a near-death hospital stay, and under strict doctor's orders, the ailing child was entrusted to the care of Tucker and Vita. Within weeks Chipo, the girl-child whose name means gift, would come to mean everything to them. Still an active correspondent, Tucker crisscrossed the continent, filing stories about the uprisings in the Congo, the civil war in Sierra Leone, and the postgenocidal conflict in Rwanda. He witnessed heartbreaking scenes of devastation and violence, steeling him further to take a personal role in helping anywhere he could. At home in Harare, Vita was nursing Chipo back to health. Soon she and Tucker decided to alter their lives foreverthey would adopt Chipo. That decision challenged an unspoken social normthat foreigners should never adopt Zimbabwean children. Raised in rural Mississippi in the sixties and seventies, Tucker was familiar with the mores associated with and dictated by race. His wife, a savvy black woman whose father escaped the Jim Crow South for a new life in the industrial North, would not be deterred in her resolve to welcome Chipo into their loving family. As if their situation wasn't tenuous enough, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was stirring up national fervor against foreigners, especially journalists, abroad and at home. At its peak, his antagonizing branded all foreign journalists personae non grata. For Tucker, the only full-time American correspondent in Zimbabwe, the declaration was a direct threat to his life and his wife's safety, and an ultimatum to their decision to adopt the child who had already become their only daughter. Against a background of war, terrorism, disease, and unbearable uncertainty about the future, Chipo's story emerges as an inspiring testament to the miracles that loveand dogged determinationcan sometimes achieve. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant, this family memoir will resonate throughout the ages. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780609609767
Branch Call Number: B Tucker
Characteristics: 242 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

This amazing book examines several biblical stories in a fascinating and enjoyable manner. Friedmann challenges the reader to re-examine and re-evaluate the methods used to understand morality. In addition, this book demonstrates how biblical events/stories have influenced law and morality over the ages. This book is very readable and easily enjoyed by those looking for something refreshing and mind stimulating.

Aug 21, 2012

There's a lot of tension in this adoption story set in Africa.

samdog123 May 14, 2010

Neely Tucker, a former foreign newpaper correspondent, writes about the adoption of his daughter, Chipo. Abandoned in a field as a newborn, Chipo faces many health issues, but is cared for by Neely and his wife, Vita, both of whom grow to love this child. But, at the time, adoption in Zimbabwe was very difficult and challenging. The AIDS crisis and political unrest made being in the country very difficult. An excellent read. Although it is biographical, it flows well and is so heartwarming.


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