Books that have film Adaptations · Chilean/ Spanish lit. · Misc. Historical Fiction.

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

A Chilean saga, this book is all about the lives and histories of three women in the del Valle family: Rosa, Clara, Blanca and Alma, and the struggles they face against politics, social history and government. Primarily, it also includes the life and struggles of Esteban Trueba, who struggles for the affections of the women in many ways.

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I picked this up because I liked the cover (see above.) and I am a massive fan of family sagas. However, it is usually not the sort of book that I would read. I enjoyed the book in the end. It took me on a whirlwind of emotions. I even cried a little at the end, even though I didn’t expect to.

Apparently its studied in some school curriculum programmes, probably because of the presence of ‘magical realism’. It also shifts perspectives many times, between the standard narrative and from the point of view of Esteban Trueba, the aforementioned main male character. One might call him an anti-hero.

The story kept me gripped until the end, with vivid storytelling which was somewhat graphic at some points which put across the brutality and difficulty in a Chilean country across 50 years, although one hopes that in the end Alba finds peace. I definiately want to try and find more books by Isabel Allende.

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