Saturday 4 June 2011

Allende, Isabel "The House of the Spirits"

Allende, Isabel "The House of the Spirits" (Spanish: La Casa de los Espíritus) - 1982

Isabel Allende's first novel. I love family sagas, this one extends over four generations, a lot of Chilean history.

I usually have a hard time with magical-realism but this was very good. It's more a part of their culture, almost their religion and I don't mind learning about it. There is a lot of information on the rich and the poor, the problems in South America. I don't know much about this continent and find it fascinating.

I really liked the different characters and how everyone received their place in the story. I enjoyed this book very much.

This is the first book in a trilogy, followed by "Daughter of Fortune" and "Portrait in Sepia". Another great book by the same author: "Island Beneath the Sea".

In 2010 she received Chile's National Literature Prize, and I'm sure more will follow.

From the back cover:

"In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies.

Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.
The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate."

Find more reviews of Isabel Allende's books here.

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