Saturday, 4 June 2011

Allende, Isabel "Portrait in Sepia"

Allende, Isabel "Portrait in Sepia" (Spanish: Retrato en Sepia) - 2000

Another magnificent historical novel by Chilean author Isabel Allende. The story takes part at the end of the nineteenth century and carries on the wonderful sagas started in her earlier novels House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune. Only when reading this book do you really understand why both are parts of the same trilogy.

Aurora de la Valle lives with her grandmother after a bad experience in her early childhood. Her family is quite rich, but  Aurora is haunted by nightmares. She goes on a quest for her own past to find the secret behind her problems. Very exciting and gripping. I enjoyed it a lot.

The third book in the trilogy following "House of the Spirits" and "Daughter of Fortune". Another great book by the same author: "Island Beneath the Sea".

From the back cover:
"'Portrait in Sepia' is both a magnificent historical novel set at the end of the nineteenth century in Chile and a marvellous family saga peopled by characters from 'Daughter of Fortune' and 'The House of the Spirits', two of Allende's most celebrated novels.

As a young girl, Aurora del Valle suffered a brutal trauma that has shaped her character and erased from her mind all recollection of the first five years of her life. Raised by her ambitious grandmother, the regal and commanding Paulina del Valle, she grows up in a privileged environment, free of the limitations that circumscribe the lives of women at that time, but tormented by terrible nightmares. When she finds herself alone at the end of an unhappy love affair, she decides to explore the mystery of her past, to discover what it was, exactly, all those years ago, that had such a devastating effect on her young life.

Richly detailed, epic in scope, this engrossing story of the dark power of hidden secrets is intimate in its probing of human character, and thrilling in the way it illuminates the complexity of family ties.

Find more reviews of Isabel Allende's books here.

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