As a little girl I loved sitting on my Avi’s (grandpa) lap listening to stories of when he was younger. The hardships his mother faced with grit and ingenuity while her husband was kept in one of Franco’s concentration camps fascinated me. Avi’s own escapades were adventurous and thrilling, though heartbreaking at times.
When I was eight my Yaya (grandmother) typed up a booklet with stories of my pioneer and other Catalan ancestors. I read that book over and over again. It’s still sits on my bookshelf enjoyed from time to time by my own children. The decisions my ancestors made to join the LDS(Mormon) church and leave their homelands of Wales and England still have an impact on me today.
From these childhood memories grew my love for biographies. I so enjoy reading about other people’s lives, how the decisions they made changed the course or direction of their life and affected the lives of others around them. The lives people have lived are just fascinating! Made all the more so because they are real with all their faults and foibles, strengths and God-given talents.
Nien Cheng recounts her harrowing imprisonment and torture at the hands of Mao Zedong’s “Cultural Revolution” that took place in China from 1966-1976. She was accused of being a spy and kept in solitary confinement for over six years experiencing harsh privation. She never gave in to their demands, never confessed, and never told a lie. It is an amazing story of survival told truthfully about a country she loves but did not love her back.
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