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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Even Silence has an End

Title: Even Silence has an End
Author: Ingrid Betancourt
Source: Library

What's the story?:

From Goodreads: "Born in Bogotá, raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt at the age of thirty-two gave up a life of comfort and safety to return to Colombia to become a political leader in a country that was being slowly destroyed by terrorism, violence, fear, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. In 2002, while campaigning as a candidate in the Colombian presidential elections, she was abducted by the FARC. Nothing could have prepared her for what came next. She would spend the next six and a half years in the depths of the jungle as a prisoner of the FARC. Even Silence Has an End is her deeply personal and moving account of that time. Chained day and night for much of her captivity, she never stopped dreaming of escape and, in fact, succeeded in getting away several times, always to be recaptured. In her most successful effort she and a fellow captive survived a week away, but were caught when her companion became desperately ill; she learned later that they had been mere miles from freedom.

The facts of her story are astounding, but it is Betancourt's indomitable spirit that drives this very special account, bringing life, nuance, and profundity to the narrative. Attending as intimately to the landscape of her mind as she does to the events of her capture and captivity, Even Silence Has an End is a meditation on the very stuff of life-fear and freedom, hope and what inspires it. Betancourt tracks her metamorphosis, sharing how in the routines she established for herself-listening to her mother and two children broadcast to her over the radio, daily prayer-she was able to do the unthinkable: to move through the pain of the moment and find a place of serenity."

Picture of Ingrid Betancourt

My two cents:

I can't imagine that I would do well if I were captured. I would be absolutely terrified and I could see myself losing hope quickly. You have to give Betancourt credit; she never really seems to lose hope even after all of her escape attempts. She becomes a sort-of cheerleader for the other prisoners that she is with. Their captors go back and forth between being kind and being harsh and the prisoners never really knew what to expect. Because Betancourt represented the government establishment being a presidential candidate, she is often singled out in her treatment yet she perseveres.

As a book lover, I really liked the part where the prisoners have the opportunity to share a box of books. They only have two weeks to read the books before they have to give them back. The prisoners dive into the books and the books really provide an escape from the fear, terror and even boredom that came from being in captivity.

My only criticism of the book is that sometimes the book moved a little slowly but all in all, this book is definitely an amazing account of hope and resilience.

My Rating:

3 out of 5 stars


  1. Very nice blog! I really like that you have diverse books to review. I especially like to read memoirs, and I found ur review very interesting!


  2. @Komal Mansoor This was a really good memoir! I'm so glad that I've never had to go through as much as Ingrid had to!


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