Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

Several of you have asked about books I am reading so I thought I’d throw in a few posts once in a while – I have a new category for Books I have Read.  (to see other books I will add, click on the title of the post and check the categories on the right.  To comment, scroll down to the bottom of the same page)

Something Fierce is an amazing story.  Carmen is Chilean and was eleven when the narration starts.  Her mother and step father (who was Canadian born) were secret revolutionaries against the Pinochet dictatorship.  To maintain their cover, they lived in a bourgois way and sent the kids to right-wing schools.  The kids had to learn from an early age that they could not breathe a word of what went on at home.  Carmen’s teenage years were all about the awful conflict of living a lie.  Most of her life was filled with terror.

I travelled through Chile and Argentina during the late seventies, the years at the beginning of this book.  Argentina had a war with Chile at that time but apart from nuisances at border crossings, I was totally unaware of what was going on beneath the surface in Chile.  In Argentina the terror of the people was much more apparent.

This book is very well written and shows a life most of us in North America cannot imagine.  Carmen does say at the close of the book that her sister (who was a year younger) remembers that time quite differently.  It would be interesting to hear her version of the story.  Something Fierce is a fascinating read.


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