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BOOK

The House of The Spirits, by Isabelle Allende, RATING: EXCELLENT

SUMMARY

A novel by Chilean author Isabelle Allende, set somewhere in South America. tells the story of one family and the events that affect them and shape their lives.

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.

REVIEW

The House of The Spirits, by Isabelle Allende, is a book that I read in several consecutive days with a warm drink in hand and a sort of eagerness that doesn't come around so often.

Mostly, although it contains action and violence concerning the communist revolution in South America, it is a love story and overall a story of family. The story follows a young girl, Clara, who grows into the strong matriarch of a wealthy family. This is one of those stories where everything just comes together and it was really the first of many books I have read by a spanish speaking author.

The tone and writing style differ slightly from most english works, but it was interesting to see this point of view. The book's genre is something called magical realism and is quite unique. It contains enough magic to make you feel spiritual, but not so much that you start questioning everything. Things simply are the way they are. Each character serves some purpose, and though it took me some thinking to get them all straight, I was glad each one was there. I loved, hated, liked and disliked nearly every character at least once, which is so reminiscent of reality.

The realism part can be seen in the honest portrayal of the human characters. Clara survives life's hardships and raises her children who undergo many of the same trials she did, in different ways. There is a powerful link across the generations in this book that allows each person to feel empathy for at least one, but more often many of the characters as they grow. I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to broaden their horizons and who likes stories with a little bit of magic and maturity.

RETRO HOUSEWIFE GINNY, 2007-05-07

The House of the Spirits

The House of the Spirits

An absolutely beautiful book.
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