Secrets & Lies in El Salvador

Shelly's Journey

Young Adult - Adventure
232 Pages
Reviewed on 08/13/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Secrets & Lies in El Salvador: Shelly's Journey by Sherrie Miranda is a personal journey in war-torn El Salvador in the early 1980s when the country is ravaged by a fully-fledged civil war that lasted for more than 12 years. Extremely violent, the war resulted in the deliberate terrorizing and targeting of civilians by death squads, the use of child soldiers, and countless other violations of human rights. It is fought between the country's military, controlled by the rich land owners, and the guerrillas trying to protect the rights of ordinary El Salvadorans. In the midst of all this turmoil, a young American woman, Shelly Marie Smith, journeys to El Salvador ostensibly to take portraits of her family that she is meeting for the first time.

Sherrie Miranda's Secrets & Lies in El Salvador is a powerful coming of age story. Evocative, mysterious and heart racing, this is a historical fiction novel that puts the reader in the midst of a country and family in turmoil. The story unravels with an emotionally strong and image-loaded poem by Roque Dalton, a Salvadoran poet, essayist, journalist, political activist, and intellectual. What follows is a fast paced turn of events that reveal the secrets of an El Salvadoran family caught in the middle of their country's violent fate. And in the end, the story takes a full circle as Shelly Marie Smith confirms her connection to poet Roque Dalton but the cost has been great. Author Sherrie Miranda is a master story teller as she weaves together a tale that is emotionally complicated using threads made of courage, hope and love.