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4.4 out of 5 stars16
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on April 12, 2016
Equal parts terrifying, humorous, audacious, doleful and joyous . . . but always riveting and crucial.
What a book!
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on August 5, 2015
I loved this book, I could hardly put it down. It was well written and gave a real insight to the way of life in Latin and South America.
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on October 31, 2013
I had listened to conversation about the book on Canada Reads on CBC,
I found it a wonderful read.
Thanks.
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on September 23, 2013
This is a true story that tells of someone whose family devoted so much of their lives to save a country that had almost been destroyed with the blessing and the encouragement of the United States and the World Bank, among other powerful entities. A powerful story!
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on May 8, 2013
I had to read this as part of a university class, I was not looking forward to it. I ended up liking the book a surprising amount! It was funny, insightful and heartbreaking all at the same time. I was disappointed at how it ended but, not everything ends well. Interesting book to read.
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on April 4, 2013
A view of a terrifying point in history through a young girl, then teen, ten young woman's eyes. Compelling and at times scary, this is a story of a whole different world then my middle class Canadian teens. One that unfortunately I did not consider until reading this book.
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on October 17, 2012
Can't believe it won Canada Reads 2012, maybe it was a thin year. As long as your expectations are of decent writing about a coming of age story then you will not be disappointed. However, do not expect to have much knowledge of the political situation in South American during the 80's. I did come away with more geograhical knowledge of South American and once I decided not to take the book too seriously then I did enoy the story.
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on April 30, 2012
What a bright, intelligent, funny but moving story about people we never get a chance to know in "regular" media. What I found most interesting was the contrast in the lives of the author and her family with all the people who claim to be revolutionaries but whose most revolutionary activities involve signing internet petitions, reading Adbusters, marching around the block once with a sign once in a while, attending lectures at the local university and loudly declaiming to all within earshot about the corruption in modern capitalist life while driving to the gas station and the mall. (Count me in, I hasten to add!) It's encouraging and inspiring to be reminded that there have been people and still are people who put their lives on the line to bring about change in places where there's a very good chance they will be tortured or killed for doing so.
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on April 7, 2012
This was a very interesting read. Honest, witty, and very memorable. It invokes feelings of sadness, anger, and fear, but doesn't drag the reader into a pit of sympathy. Much more engaging than the average fiction novel, as this was very real. It is well written.

The story takes place during Operation Condor, a time of collusion between many brutal, even fascist military regimes in South America.

Carmen takes us on a harrowing journey through Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. This is definitely not a "lonely planet" guide, though I think that term rang true for this revolutionary at times. But it did offer some unique insights into those countries and cultures.

The political slant I don't completely agree with, and I would have liked more humorous breaks throughout the book.

It will open your senses, and may open or even break your heart. It won't break your budget though, as the paperback is selling on Amazon now for less than underwear cost in Argentina back then :)

I am glad I read this book, and thankful I have not had to endure such oppression.
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on March 22, 2012
I always listen to CBC radio and when I heard that this book had won the Canada reads award I was looking forward to being totally engrossed for a weekend, sadly I found that I could barely finish it. This book did not work for me the main character never really develops into someone I could sympathize with even though she has a horrible life. This book is more of an encyclopedia of events in South America than a good read, I was quite disappointed. I would not recommend this book to a friend or anyone else.
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