"I Live in Chile" is a book you must read, no matter where you live, no matter what you do. In this book, the author respects the reader who wants to know more about Chile. There is enough first person narrative about the beautiful Chilean landscapes, especially in the South, to satisfy any would be traveler to Chile.
The author admits that he knew "absolutely nothing" about Chile when he first came to Chile. For this reason, a short historical contrast is given of the first two Spanish Conquistadors who came to Chile, Don Diego Almagro and Captain Pedro de Valdivia. Though both men are revered in Chile, it is Valdivia who has had a lasting impact upon Chile.
The Chilean language, Castillian Spanish, is discussed. The author explains its origins, with Antonio de Nebrija in 1492 and his Gramática. Its present day evolution is also given a unique look, in dialogic fashion. Further, the author describes what it was like to come to Chile without knowing any Spanish, and then learn the language through immersion in daily life.
The author discusses the Chilean National Dance, "La Cueca", with two typical Chilean cueca dancers gracing the cover of the book, Bernardo León Vargas and Fabiola del Solar, (the brother in law and sister in law of the author). The author includes his views about food, and describes how to make a delicious Chilean Cazuela.
The author answers the question, "What is Chile like?", from several different perspectives. One, the perspective of a language learner is evident, as well as a language teacher.
The author examines the Chilean from a very close perspective, without actually being a Chilean. He talks about home ownership, how Chileans react to natural disasters, and the overall resilience of the Chilean spirit.
This is the kind of book that no publisher would ever publish, because it does not neatly fit into any one category. The reader will recognize its genre to be, among others: non-fiction, historical fiction, memoir, autobiography, education, language teaching, political, tourism, and romance, as the author's love for Chile, the land and the people, are evident on every page of the book.
As I said, no traditional publisher would ever publish such a book, and without self-publishing, this book would never have seen the light of day. I recommend this book very highly, I give it 5 stars, because no matter what your initial position is when you come to the reading of this book, at the end, after you have finished reading, you will have discovered something about yourself.
Frankly, that is what any book that has its basis in reality, taken from real life, should do, namely, make you feel something, make you realize something about who you are. This book, "I Live In Chile", is a must read, regardless of what genre you usually read. For me, this book is 5 stars, because I am convinced it is right for every reader, there is something here for everyone, something powerful. Again, let me be clear, and repeat myself, this book is five stars...