Sunday, May 27, 2012


Story Description: 

Penguin Press(HC) | September 21, 2010 | Hardcover | ISBN: 978-1-59420-265-0 

Ingrid Betancourt tells the story of her captivity in the Colombian jungle, sharing powerful teachings of resilience, resistance, and faith.  Born in Bogota, 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 election, she was abducted by the FARC.  Nothing could have prepared her for what came next.  She would spend the next six and half years in the depth 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 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. 

Freed in 2008 by the Colombian army, today Betancourt is determined to draw attention to the plight of hostages and victims of terrorism throughout the world and it is that passion that motivates Even Silence Has an End.  The lessons she offers here-in courage, resilience, and humanity-are gifts to treasure. 

My Review: 

What a powerful and heart-wrenching story this was!  Ingrid Betancourt is a true survivor who lived through the worst nightmare anyone could imagine.  After being abducted by a terrorist group called FARC, Ingrid suffered immeasurable abuse, the harshest of conditions, disease, insect bites, and illness deep in the Colombian jungle.  For six and half years she was a puppet, manipulated and mistreated, often starving for food and drink, being forced to use bathroom conditions that were sub-human, sleeping quarters that often left her laying soaking in the rain with a chain around neck and attached at the other end to a tree to prevent escape.  Miraculously, she did manage to escape on several different occasions only to be caught and dragged back to the camp and re-chained.  Her last escape netted her an entire week of freedom with a fellow prisoner but she also received the harshest treatment after that final escape attempt. 

I was completely mesmerized by the story and the faith, stamina, and resilience Ingrid showed in the face of such dire adversity.  An immensely strong and brave woman, Ingrid often fought her jailers and spoke up for kind treatment of her fellow prisoners, often earning herself even crueller treatment. 

This is one book that I think everyone should read.  You can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to live under the conditions Ingrid did for as long as she did.  Just the mental exhaustion and anxiety alone would have been enough to do me in.  I certainly hope and pray that Ingrid has healed well and has had a smooth transition back into her family and with her children after enduring what she did for six and a half years. 

Even Silence has an End is a hugely powerful story!

No comments:

Post a Comment