4 out of 4 stars
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Before the Silver & Beyond the Gold by Dan Salazar is a memoir of his early life and over fifty years of marriage. Dan and Charlotte Salazar were born only a month apart in the very same year. As if ordained by God, these two met on St. Valentine’s Day. Although they shared their Hispanic heritage, faith, and culture, they grew up in two different worlds. Dan was the son of a single mother, and Charlotte had the typical American family. It was unlikely these two would ever come together in a happy marriage, but their shared spirituality inspired them to stay married and eventually operate a ministry for couples. Sadly, Dan lost his beloved to cancer a few years ago, but he fulfilled their dream to transcribe their love story.
I enjoy memoirs because they tell a first-hand account of what life was really like for people in the past, and their thoughts about topics that are seen as controversial today. Dan has lived through a lot of interesting periods in history. As a child, he grew up during the Second World War. He was in the Navy during the Korean War, and even traveled the world and parts of the United States that had segregation laws.
I enjoyed reading about Dan’s Navy exploits. His youth made them colorful, to say the least. He got in trouble here and there and even had to spend some time in a brig, but he remained patriotic his entire life. I also liked hearing about the people and locations he visited. It was neat to see how he was perceived as a Hispanic American by people in other territories and countries. It was also fun to get his thoughts and first impressions of different peoples and cultures.
Dan’s tone throughout the book is very warm and inviting. I also liked the magical way he described his relationship with Charlotte. Prior to her death, they were writing this book together, so he does include her account of some situations. They shared a very strong bond and an eight-year honeymoon period, which was nice to read about. I really enjoyed the story he shared about Charlotte’s first terrible tortillas, and what she did with the extra dough pieces when she made them again. She was foolish to think he’d never find them, but that’s why the story was so cute and funny.
Overall, this was a well-written memoir full of history and family charm. The presentation was very professional and I only found a handful of errors. If you want an unbiased account of the past that is not viewed from the lens of political correctness, I highly recommend this book. There was only one naughty word, and it was minor. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars for the writing and family photos. Anyone who enjoys memoirs and history will appreciate this book. If your interests lean more towards fiction, you might want to skip this account.
Before the Silver & Beyond the gold
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