Thursday 1 September 2011

Betancourt, Íngrid "Even Silence has an End: My Six Years in the Jungle"

Betancourt, Íngrid "Even Silence has an End: My Six Years in the Jungle" (French: Même le silence a une fin) - 2010

This book is an account of French-Colombian politician  Íngrid Betancourt, who was abducted by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2002 and rescued by Colombian security forces in 2008. She spent six and a half years in the jungle as a prisoner of the FARC.

I think most of us really appreciated learning about this but we would have liked a little more information about the background, Colombia, the FARC … On the other hand, the book could have been more condensed, there was a lot of repetitiveness. One of our members teaches writing and she said her first task for the students would usually be to write a personal narrative about a personal experience this looks like a first draft. We all believed her. We do believe that writing can be a kind of therapy and wondered whether it was it therapeutic for her.

We were amazed how she could get into so much details, how she could remember them after all that time.

It was discouraging that the captives fought so much between themselves, we're sure it's a survival mechanism but we would have thought they stick together rather than fight each other. However, Íngrid Betancourt admitted she was difficult. She is a strong personality.

The whole FARC culture was interesting, it was another world, however, their members were in a kind of prison, too. It's amazing how people change when they have the power.

So, all in all, a very interesting book, even though we didn't agree with the whole style.

We discussed this in our book club in August 2011.

From the back cover:
"In the midst of her campaign for the Colombian presidency in 2002, Ingrid Betancourt traveled into a military-controlled region, where she was abducted by the FARC, a brutal terrorist guerrilla organization in conflict with the government. She would spend the next six and a half years captive in the depths of the Colombian jungle. Even Silence Has an End is her deeply moving and personal account of that time. The facts of her story are astounding, but it is Betancourt's indomitable spirit that drives this very special narrative-an intensely intelligent, thoughtful, and compassionate reflection on what it really means to be human. "

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