Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Review: Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre


Title: Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
Author: Carmen Aguirre
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Pages: 277
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Year Published: 2011
Format: Paperback Copy (Own It)
First Line: "As my mother bit into her Big Mac, her glasses caught the reflection of a purple neon light somewhere behind me."

"A gripping, darkly comic first-hand account of a young underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980s Chile.

On September 11, 1973, a violent coup removed Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile, from office. Thousands were arrested, tortured and killed under General Augusto Pinochet's repressive new regime. Soon after the coup, six-year-old Carmen Aguirre and her younger sister fled the country with their parents for Canada and a life of exile.

In 1978, the Chilean resistance issued a call for exiled activists to return to Latin America. Most women sent their children to live with relatives or with supporters in Cuba, but Carmen's mother kept her precious girls with her. As their mother and stepfather set up a safe house for resistance members in La Paz, Bolivia, the girls' own double lives began. At eighteen, Carmen herself joined the resistance. With conventional day jobs as a cover, she and her new husband moved to Argentina to begin a dangerous new life of their own.

This dramatic, darkly funny narrative, which covers the eventful decade from 2979 to 2989, takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictatorship-run Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet's Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight, Carmen captures her constant struggle to reconcile her commitment to the movement with the desires of her youth and her budding sexuality. 'Something Fierce' is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life."

My Rating: 4/5

I've always had trouble rating no fiction reads because who am I to rate someone else's opinions, life or memories. I'm not someone who can do that so the number rating that you see above is based purely on my enjoyment of the writing style and approach. I think that this Carmen Aguirre does a great job of giving a huge over lay during a difficult time in South America as well as a difficult time in her life. That being said at some points in this book I had to take a break from reading, to get caught up with the idea that she had moved to another country, or it had been a large gap of time. Still, she has a unique perspective since she was directly involved in the revolution, after being involved with her family. I think that this book is an important read, especially if you're like me and don't know a lot about historical happenings. It really opened my eyes to the struggles of those in Latin America, as well as helped me to understand things that I'd heard as a child but did not understand. My family would listen to the news and I remember hearing things about protests in the streets in the south, but I didn't really remember anything else about it. I'm very privileged to lead the life I do, and this book has inspired me to reach out those for those who can't. I hope to read more nonfiction in the future, especially on serious matters.

Thanks for reading,


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