Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reading to Memory Lane

Today I think I’ll talk a little bit about what I’ve been reading. I’ve been doing very well with that goal actually, and I think I could read more than one novel a month, but I think it’s best, for the time being, to stick to that rate. I’d hate to kick up my addiction and lose all my time to it. Still having the Kindle is nice. I can get a little bit of reading done anywhere, like when waiting for the hubby to pick me up from work. But I am digressing.

The novel I read this month was A Storm Hits Valparaiso by David Gaughran. It is an epic tale of South America’s struggle for freedom as told from seven perspectives. He starts with a barmaid in Valparaiso and then takes us back and forth across the Atlantic. It was fun trying to figure out who would cross paths with who. Sometimes the moment was brief and other times the paths became interwove. It ends, full circle, with the barmaid, returned to Valparaiso. War, no matter what kind, changes everything and David captures that well in this book.

Now, I bought this book because I’d found David Gaughran’s blog in my gathering of places to find information about publishing a book. In addition, South America fascinates me. My father was born in Paraguay to missionary parents and he first came to USA when he was 15. So, despite the fact he carries a very American name, he’s Hispanic. My step-mother is from Columbia. I don’t know of anyone with a bigger family. She has nine older siblings and how many nieces nephews who have kids too I don’t know, but they all seem to keep in touch.

Memorial to Simon Bolivia
in Santa Marta Colombia
I was very fortunate, in that, when I was 16, I got to visit both countries. We went to a family reunion of sort for my step-mom for New Years. Quite the change from the cold New England climate I came from. We even spent a day at Simon Bolivia’s memorial. Then that summer we returned, this time to go to Paraguay and visit my Abuela y Abuelo who’d returned to where my dad grew up to visit the church they’d founded. We even skipped over to Brazil to see the Iguassu falls.

Iguassu Falls, from the Brazilian Side
I could probably write a post or two just about those trips, complete with the pictures I took. At least I know I have pictures of Paraguay; there's one of the falls that rivals the professional ones. Of course I’d have to find the photographs first, and if I couldn't find them I'd have to ask my step-mother if I could borrow hers, at least until I got them all scanned. Those were the days before before digital cameras. At least, before affordable personal digital cameras were available.  

:} Cathryn Leigh


  1. Those. Falls. Are. Amazing!
    It's funny - the only continent I've never been to is South America, and yet whenever I think of going there I feel ... put off, somehow. Probably my slight aversion to heat, bitey bugs and spicy food (plus my useless Spanish, haha!). But I may have to amend that some day .... now please excuse me while i continue staring like a goon at that epictastic waterfall.

    1. The Falls are AWESOME!

      As to the heat and bugs. It's a giant continent. We went during the Northern summer which was winter down there. It was pretty chilly and wet, and I don't remember many bugs. Even in Columbia, middle of summer, I don't remember it being horrible.

      I can completely understand the lack of speaking Spanish keeping you from going. I'm sure I could convince my Dad (he's retiring soon) to be out tour guide if you ever wanted to go with me and the family. I think it'd be cool to show them where Abuelo grew up.

      :} Cathryn