Synopses & Reviews
In the early years of the conquest of the Americas, Inés Suárez, a seamstress condemned to a life of toil, flees Spain to seek adventure in the New World. As Inés makes her way to Chile, she begins a fiery romance with Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and field marshal to the famed Francisco Pizarro. Together the lovers will build the new city of Santiago, and they will wage war against the indigenous Chileans a bloody struggle that will change Inés and Valdivia forever, inexorably pulling each of them toward separate destinies.
Inés of My Soul is a work of breathtaking scope that masterfully dramatizes the known events of Inés Suárez's life, crafting them into a novel rich with the narrative brilliance and passion readers have come to expect from Isabel Allende.
"Only months after the inauguration of Chile's first female president, Allende recounts in her usual sweeping style the grand tale of Doa Ins Surez (1507 1580), arguably the country's founding mother. Writing in the year of her death, Ins tells of her modest girlhood in Spain and traveling to the New World as a young wife to find her missing husband, Juan. Upon learning of Juan's humiliating death in battle, Ins determines to stay in the fledgling colony of Peru, where she falls fervently in love with Don Pedro de Valdivia, loyal field marshal of Francisco Pizarro. The two lovers aim to found a new society based on Christian and egalitarian principles that Valdivia later finds hard to reconcile with his personal desire for glory. Ins proves herself not only a capable helpmate and a worthy cofounder of a nation, but also a ferocious fighter who both captivates and frightens her fellow settlers. Ins narrates with a clear eye and a sensitivity to native peoples that rarely lapses into anachronistic political correctness. Basing the tale on documented events of her heroine's life, Allende crafts a swift, thrilling epic, packed with fierce battles and passionate romance." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The narrative device that Allende has chosen...is boring and distracting....Turgid and detached homework masquerading as epic." Kirkus Reviews
"Inés of My Soul might be Allende's best novel, better even than The House of the Spirits. I enjoyed it far more, not as a result of its style but because of the questions it poses." Boston Globe
"Allende's novel broadens and deepens into a richly drawn depiction of the harshness of New World colonial life. She is an exquisite handler of historical detail, always conscious of keeping her story line above sinking beneath the particulars." Booklist (Starred Review)
"The novel's best moments are vivid and convincing...but they are separated by too many long, arid stretches....Allende's ambition in taking on the novel's big subjects is admirable, but Inés of My Soul...does not fulfill it." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
"[M]eticulously researched and offers a detailed account of a little-known time period in history....Unfortunately, this passive retelling of hardships, battles, and love affairs becomes dry, tedious, and repetitive." Library Journal
"Leave it up to Isabel Allende to write a novel of the conquistadors with a woman at its fast-pumping heart....Allende, who has stumbled in recent books, has written her surest work since The House of the Spirits." USA Today
"[T]horough and unflinching....The action is nonstop and the characters intriguing....The history is fascinating...and Allende's talent (and ever-moving plot) keeps the pages turning. It's a joy to see Inés triumph." Rocky Mountain News
"[T]he construction of the sentences alone make the novel a worthwhile read....Considerably better than her previous novels, Zorro and the national bestseller Daughter of Fortune, this is one work Allende fans should not miss." Miami Herald
"Here are bloody battles and torture, excesses of passion, well-drawn characters, and, as always in Allende's work, the surrealistic merging of a spirit world with our world....A beautifully crafted work by one of the finest writers of our time." Providence Journal
"Though she writes from the Spaniards' point of view, Allende attempts a balanced description of the violent clashes between the conquistadores and Chile's fearless Mapuche Indians....But it's Suarez who is the heart of this book. In the early chapters, we see her as an ordinary woman taking advantage of extraordinary events to change her economic and social status. Later we understand: She would have been an extraordinary woman in any age." Zee Edgell, Ms. Magazine
(read the entire Ms. Magazine review
About the Author
Isabel Allende is the bestselling author of eleven works of fiction, four memoirs, and three young- adult novels, which have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages with over 57 million copies sold. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2012. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.
Nacida en Perú y criada en Chile, Isabel Allende es la autora de nueve novelas incluyendo más recientemente Zorro, Retrato en Sepia, Hija de la Fortuna e Inés del Alma Mía. También ha escrito cuentos cortos, tres libros autobiográficos incluyendo Mi País Inventado y Paula, y una trilogía de libros para jóvenes. Sus libros han sido traducidos a más de 27 idiomas y son bestsellers a través del mundo entero. En 2004, fue nombrada a la Academia de Artes y Letras de los Estados Unidos. Vive en California.