What if you should have died before you were even born? What if, since you knew you were living on borrowed time, you’d lived, taught, traveled and wondered outrageously? Why, sixty years later you’d have one hell of a good story!
A unique memoir/travelogue/reflection-on-life, Santander features poignant short stories that, like pieces of a puzzle, create a captivating whole exploring themes of personal growth, adventure, justice, wonder, disillusionment, and ultimately gratitude. Although Santander recounts a teacher’s wild exploits and perceptive musings, it appeals to anyone who has raised or taught children, who’s traveled the world of countries and ideas (or who’d like to live vicariously though someone who has); anyone who’s struggled to find compassion for oneself and others; who, in the words of Robert Frost, “had a lover’s quarrel with the world” and tried to make a difference. Santander pays homage to living an authentic life.
“Terrified, I finally realized the federal agents answered to no one and could do with me whatever they pleased. I thought of the death squads who had “disappeared” so many others into the Central American jungle.”
“I was filled with awe and gratitude, but with sadness, too…the constant companions, it seems to me, of anyone who dares to travel with an open mind and heart through the world, through history, and through life.”
“Children all have that same amazing power over me—not only to make me laugh, but to make me believe in myself, in them, and in life.”
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I thought at first that this was a quite a strange book, as rather than set out with a continuing story chapter after chapter, it is made up of events and stages through the author’s life but the thing is it works really well. There is complete raw honesty about the hurdles that life threw at him. His deepest feelings and fear of how other people would judge him for being himself.
Religion, education, family, travelling, sexuality and prejudice filled his pages. The things he taught, the children he met and the life lessons that he learnt himself. There are amazing people in his book, I really liked his mum as she made me smile. The children who just accepted him for who he was and the Head who supported him.
I was very touched with some of the darker pages where he could have disappeared without a trace in some of the places he taught and no-one would have dared ask where he had gone. It really takes your breath and made me read about these children in a more sombre light that this is everyday life for so many people.
The book makes you look back on your own life and some of the differences that you have made in the world yourself. I wish the author a happy and contented life where I hope he can share more of his adventures and take on the world in the future.
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR