Motherland: A Memoir

Brilliance Audio. Oct. 2023. 9:25 hrs. ISBN 9798400144912. $35.99. MEMOIR
With her deeply personal debut memoir, Venezuelan journalist Ramón provides listeners with an intimate, generation-spanning look into the collapse of a family and a nation. Ramón traces the rise and fall of petroleum-rich Venezuela through the eyes of her family, noting the headiness of the prosperous early years and detailing the devastation that was to come. Venezuelan American narrator Ana Osorio offers a masterful performance as she sensitively describes the rise of a middle class with unlimited potential, the promising start of Hugo Chávez’s presidency, and the diaspora of nearly an entire Venezuelan generation as Chávez’s policies wreaked havoc. Ramón poignantly outlines the economic collapse and failure of public services, which made daily tasks such as buying food impossible. She also describes rampant crime in Caracas and Maracaibo, which further destabilized society. Amid the chaos, listeners are privy to the heartbreaking effect on the author’s mother and brothers.
VERDICT This expressively narrated account of a country in crisis balances detailed research and political insight with snippets of daily life. A must-listen that pairs well with Raúl Gallegos’s Crude Nation and Rory Carroll’s Comandante.
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