Author: Deb Olin Unferth
About: (from the book flap) … a new twist on the coming-of-age memoir in this utterly unique and captivating story of the year she ran away from college with her Christian boyfriend and followed him to Nicaragua to join the Sandinistas.
My thoughts: I finished reading this memoir and thought there is no way I would have liked a guy so much I’d have dropped out of college, become an activist and move with him to another country to fight the good fight. If nothing else, I admire her tenacity and her willingness to be a good sport.
Our main ambition was to help the revolution. George and I wanted jobs, what we called “revolution jobs,” but it turned out that few people wanted to hire us and if they did, they almost immediately fired us. (p.10)
Deb and George moved from country to country following revolutions, wanting to be a part of the action. The conditions were deplorable and they fought illness often. Personal safety was always a concern but they seemed to thrive on the danger – that or their naiveté blinded them. At one point I found myself wondering why Deb didn’t go home when she was so sick.
The two went from being a couple of kids with a dream to a pair showing signs of discontent. Deb’s journal entries showed her observations of the collapse of their relationship.
He began to develop a caught-bird look, an intensely lonely air, which would stay with him, would become his trademark look for the rest of the time I knew him. (p. 144)
Deb Olin Unferth’s memoir seems heartfelt and although I could relate to very little, it’s a pretty amazing story.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Recommend? Yes, it’s an unusual memoir.
Source: Henry Holt