A Beauty That Hurts: Life and Death in Guatemala


161 pages
Contains Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 0-921284-98-5
DDC 972.8105'2





Reviewed by Ronald N. Harpelle

Ronald N. Harpelle is an assistant professor of history at the
University of Manitoba.


One of the things that visitors to Guatemala often notice as the sun
begins to set is the mounting terror in the eyes and actions of its
people. This book provides insight into why so many Guatemalans fear for
their lives. The author mixes modern Guatemalan history with his own
vignettes and personal accounts of people who have suffered through
Latin America’s longest-running undeclared civil war. As he tours
Guatemala, Lovell takes the reader into the heart of this country under
siege, where the horror of a repressive social system and the farce of
government are exposed.

A Beauty That Hurts is designed for a broad audience, but it stems from
an academic interest in the land and indigenous people of Guatemala.
Unlike Lovell’s other books, this one is a personal account, a
readable, often painful exposé of everyday life in a country torn by
centuries of racial and civil strife. The book is suitable for classroom


Lovell, W. George., “A Beauty That Hurts: Life and Death in Guatemala,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 13, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/1675.