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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld

Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
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The House of the Spirits


The House of the Spirits Cover

ISBN13: 9780553383805
ISBN10: 0553383809
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

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Here, in an astonishing debut by a gifted storyteller, is the magnificent saga of proud and passionate men and women and the turbulent times through which they suffer and triumph. They are the Truebas. And theirs is a world you will not want to leave, and one you will not forget.

Esteban — The patriarch, a volatile and proud man whose lust for land is legendary and who is haunted by his tyrannical passion for the wife he can never completely possess.

Clara — The matriarch, elusive and mysterious, who foretells family tragedy and shapes the fortunes of the house of the Truebas.

Blanca — Their daughter, soft-spoken yet rebellious, whose shocking love for the son of her father's foreman fuels Esteban's everlasting contempt... even as it produces the grandchild he adores.

Alba — The fruit of Blanca's forbidden love, a luminous bearty, a fiery and willful woman... the family's break with the past and link to the future.

From the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in Peru, Isabel Allende is Chilean. She was a journalist for many years and began to write fiction in 1981. The result was the worldwide bestseller The House of the Spirits, which was followed by the equally successful Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, The Stories of Eva Luna, and Daughter of Fortune. Long a resident of Caracas, she now makes her home in San Rafael, California.

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lukas, January 23, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
I've been reading Julia Alvarez's "In the Time of the Butterflies," set in the Dominican Republic, with my high school students and it's piqued my interest in other Latin American authors. "The House of the Spirits" is one of the most popular books to come out of South America (they made a film of it with mostly Anglo actors). I find it a little myopic that the default author to compare other South American authors to is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Yes, he's a major writer, but it's not like every American author deserves to be compared to Hemingway, for example. While there are elements of magical realism, Allende's mix of family saga, political drama and colorful incidents has more in common with Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" than anything by Marquez. Allende's father, of course, was Salvador Allende, who was overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup and replaced by the dictator General Pinochet. This history is the backdrop for the novel, which deserves to be read both for its illuminating look at this shameful period and for its vivid writing and characters.
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jcinoregon, January 26, 2007 (view all comments by jcinoregon)
I got my first copy of this fictional book 14 years ago recommended by my sister and have since read it several times over. Isabel Allende draws you into the generational tale of the Trueba family who in many ways are relatable. Its set in during the political face change of a nation moving painfully into the "modern" world while grasping when able to the pride of the past. The emotions and familial sagas that are revealed in this story have the ability to hit personal chords unexpectedly. Here I first learned of the writing style called magical realism. Does Rosa the beautiful really have green hair? It sure made me pause and imagine just how beautiful that might be. I connected with Clara and applauded her inner goodness, silent struggles (literally) and ultimately her innocent, sincere self. And even Esteban with his "macho" borderline tyrannical ways won me over. It caught me from the start and has not let go. If you are looking for a bite of history, the transparency of human experience and a revelation of deep felt family connections this is a great choice to make! Take some time, kick back with some cafe con leche and soak up the goodness found in this tale.
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Product Details

Allende, Isabel
Dial Press
Allende, Isabelle
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.1 x 5 x 1 in 0.75 lb

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