Synopses & Reviews
Internationally celebrated novelist Isabel Allende has written a magnificent historical novel set at the end of the nineteenth century in Chile -- a marvelous family saga that takes up and continues the story begun in her highly acclaimed Daughter of Fortune.
Recounted in the voice of a young woman in search of her roots, Portrait in Sepia is a novel about memory and family secrets. Aurora del Valle suffers a brutal trauma that shapes her character and erases 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, Aurora grows up in a privileged environment, free of the limitations that circumscribe the lives of women at that time, but tormented by horrible nightmares. When she is forced to recognize her betrayal at the hands of the man she loves, and to cope with the resulting solitude, she decides to explore the mystery of her past.
Portrait in Sepia is an extraordinary achievement: richly detailed, epic in scope, intimate in its probing of human character, and thrilling in the way it illuminates the complexity of family ties.
"Rich and complex ... Allende exercises her supreme storytelling abilities ... a grand installment in an already impressive repertoire." Publishers Weekly (* Starred Review *)
"Complex, intriguing, ambitious … it's Allende's remarkable flair for character that makes it all come alive." Kirkus
“Portrait in Sepia is rich with color and emotion and packed with intriguing characters.” San Francisco Chronicle
Set at the end of the 19th century in Chile, Portrait in Sepia is a marvelous family saga peopled by characters from Daughter of Fortune and The House of Spirits, two of Isabel Allende's most celebrated novels.
Aurora del Valle suffers a brutal trauma that erases all memory of the first five years of her life. Raised by her ambitious grandmother, the regal and commanding Paulina del Valle, Aurora grows up in a privileged environment, free of the limitations that circumscribe the lives of women at that time. Yet she is tormented by horrible nightmares. When she is forced to recognize her betrayal at the hands of the man she loves, and to cope with the resulting solitude, she decides to explore the mystery of her past.
"Portrait in Sepia
is the best book Allende has published in the United States since her first novel of nearly two decades ago, The House of the Spirits
—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
“Portrait in Sepia tightens the weave of a multigenerational fantasy as complete and inspiring as the real world it parallels … Allendes enchanting historical universe keeps expanding and Portrait in Sepia is a new galactic jewel.”
A richly imagined historical novel about memory and family secrets from the New York Times bestselling author of Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, Zorro, and House of the Spirits.
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.