This week I read another memoir about Zimbabwe. It’s my fourth and I can’t get enough.
In The Last Resort (Crown, 2009), travel writer Douglas Rogers chronicles his parents’ downward spiral as life in Zimbabwe falls apart.
Like Peter Godwin’s memoir, When the Crocodile Eats the Sun (which I reviewed a few months ago), Rogers’ book traces the tragic turn of events in Zimbabwe over the last few decades. And like in Godwin’s book, Rogers writes about stubborn, liberal parents who refuse to leave the only place they consider to be their home–Zimbabwe.
Rogers’ parents, Lyn and Ros, run a backpacker resort near the Mozambique border. Once a haven for foreign travelers (when Zimbabwe was a safe country with a thriving middle class–both black and white), it becomes a safe house for white farmers who’ve been kicked off their land and prominent black opposition party members. As his parents struggle to put food on the table, they adapt to the changes in Zimbabwe and do whatever they can to survive and keep up the resort.
At one point in the book, I couldn’t help thinking it’d become Hotel Rwanda meets Blood Diamond. Rogers even praises Leonardo’s spot-on Zimbabwean accent. Time to re-rent that movie.
My litmus test for any good book is simple: tears. The more I cry, the better I like the book.
I cried throughout this book.