I learned about this book due to an Independent Study I taught with a post-AP Spanish Literature student, based on terrorism in Latin America. This is a political fiction book based on the famous Sendero Luminoso (known as Shining Path), a Maoist terrorist group and the havoc they wreaked for years. Set in Lima, Perú during the 1990s, this book follows and entwines the stories of three protagonists and their terrifying experiences with the internationally known terrorist group. Sendero Luminoso, which originated in the late ’60s, founded by a philosophy professor, Abimael Guzmán, following his trip to China, where he was heavily influenced by the teachings of Mao Zedong. Almost two decades later, this group of 11 members grew into one of the most dangerous gangs in Latin America.
The narration is captivating, and it teaches you everything you need to know about the events occurring in Peru during this treacherous time. Anyone who dared to go against them lived in tremendous fear and angst, as one will learn through the protagonists. I chose the book since it was one of the only political fiction books linked to this topic and it had rave reviews on Amazon and now, I can understand why! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn’t regard it as “required reading” for a class and neither did my student. The only drawback was that we started the year with this book, as it was hard to top. It’s only available in Spanish, but if you’re advanced or a native, buy your copy today – you won’t regret it!