This is the story of a woman, a mother, a revolutionary fighter, now living in Santa Monica, who used to wear a machine gun as a part of her JOB!
To read the life story of a contemporary, of my generation, who has done so much, lived with such vivacity and courage and passion is truly an inspiration. To see the USA through the eyes of someone who fought against a cruel, murderous, ugly dictator, only to have a right wing American president, Ronald Reagan, use all the power within his reach to destroy the fruits of her people's struggle for democracy-- is eye-opening.
Gioconda Belli weaves a story of intrigue, power, politics and sensuality that had me turning the pages like, usually, only the best potboiler fiction novel can do. It is a testimony to women's rights the way she functioned as a Sandinista revolutionary while bearing three children, raising a family and taking down the Somoza dictatorship, becoming an award winning writer-poet and traveling the world as a diplomat-representative of the revolutionary government she played a major role of bringing into power.
We in the USA who are fighting against those who are unraveling the constitution and democracy would do well to read and learn from Gioconda Belli. The steps she took as she became more politicized, more involved in the fight against the rich and powerful who would strip the rights and freedoms from her people are steps many of us have just begun to take. The courage and sacrifice she describes in her own life and the lives of her "companeros" is inspiring.
Reading about her experiences meeting with other revolutionaries, how different nations actually celebrate them and their fights for freedom, was a real eye-opener. Why doesn't the US honor the heroic men and women with the courage to take on the worst dictators? Because, too often, we are supporting and funding them? This must end. It is time that we invite the leaders of revolutions from all over the world to the US. Of course, for that reality to happen, there must be a revolution of some sort in the US-- one that rejects corporatism and the run-amuck out of control capitalism that the USA's lamestream media have sold us over the years.
While this is a book, that for me, was inspiring at many levels, one should not forget that Belli is an award winning poet and writer with many international awards for her work. The book is a pleasure to read. It will make you laugh and bring you tears of joy and sadness. It did for me.
The book was not one I'd have ever picked up on my own. It was recommended to me... strongly. I pass that recommendation forward to you. Give it a try. You won't be able to put it down.