Allende's magical realist epic is an international classic - 'thick with plot and bristling with characters. A novel to be read for its brilliant craftsmanship and its narrative of inescapable power' El Pais
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Published: 07 July 2011
Genre: General & literary fiction
As a girl, Clara del Valle can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, Rosa the Beautiful, Clara is mute for nine years. When she breaks her silence, it is to announce that she will be married soon to the stern and volatile landowner Esteban Trueba. Set in an unnamed Latin American country over three generations, The House of the Spirits is a magnificent epic of a proud and passionate family, secret loves and violent revolution.
Remarkable...a big book that can comprehend the history of a nation, and so many lives, with love
An exotic vision and a brilliant, impassioned epic
Mesmerizing... A novel of force and charm
This is a novel like the novels no one seems to write anymore: thick with plot and bristling with characters who play out their lives over three generations of conflict and reconciliation. A novel to be read for its brilliant craftsmanship and its narrative of inescapable power
El Pais, Madrid
Announcing a truly great read: a novel thick and thrilling, full of fantasy, terror and wit, elaborately crafted yet serious and accurate in its historical and social observations
Die Welt, Berlin
Extraordinary... Powerful... Sharply observant, witty and eloquent
New York Times
Allende is another remarkable storyteller from a continent blessed with many such enchanters . . . Allende has an affection for her characters quite beyond politics, and an estimable ability to bring them to life
Intensely moving. Both entertaining and deeply serious
Interweaving episodes of love, violence and betrayal, Isabel Allende's sprawling family saga is a novel with the power to absorb and move in equal measure. In a tale which spans generations, encompassing everything from every day domesticity to civil war espionage, this a book which renews the Latin American tradition of magic realism with dramatic clarity and flair. Allende's consummate mastery of language allows for the exploration and development of moments which are at once transcendently beautiful and deeply realistic. Her examination of the relationship between the female members of the family makes for particularly touching reading, following the struggles and expectations of these inextricably linked women as together they attempt to navigate political and familial environments which do not always award them the value their bravery and wit deserves.Beautiful and utterly gripping, this book moved me to tears.
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Isabel Allende was born in 1942 Lima, Peru. She grew up in Chile and now lives in California. She is the author of novels The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, The Infinite Plan, Paula ...