Read La casa de los espíritus by Isabel Allende Free Online
Book Title: La casa de los espíritus|
The author of the book: Isabel Allende
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Reader ratings: 4.1
Date of issue: October 11th 2015
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 396 KB
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House of the Spirits started my love affair with Isabel Allende's writing twenty years ago. I remember how the first line "Barrabas came to us from the sea" left me captivated and eager to read on. In college, I was fortunate that La Casa de los Espiritus was required reading for one of my classes, so I read the prose a second time in Spanish. Allende's writing is exceptional in both languages.
Recently, I completed Allende's memoir The Sum of Our Days. She reveals that Clara represents her own grandmother: she also had the gift of being clairvoyant and communicating with all the spirits that entered her home by way of a three-legged table and tarot cards. Handed down this gift, Allende admits that she has had a number of meaningful dreams over the years that have influenced both her writing and family life.
La Casa de Los Espiritus is a sweeping epic that spans three generations of Chilean women- Clara, Blanca, and Alba Del Valle Trueba- from post World War I up until the Pinochet coup which overthrew the Allende government (Isabel's uncle) in 1973. The opus detailed their family saga in both good times and bad, reflecting on how the same mistakes repeated themselves through the generations. This is most evident as Allende uses the same name over again for all four women in the family: Nivea, Clara, Blanca, Alba. Each woman attempted to be as independent as her era allowed, yet falling for the society mores expected of an upper crust Chilean family. As the years pass, however, adhering to the higher class norms becomes harder as both family and society crumble around the Del Valle/Trueba clan.
Allende may be known for her feminist leanings, but she creates a strong, memorable male lead in Esteban Trueba. Reaching the ripe old age of ninety and telling this story alongside his grand-daughter Alba, Senator Trueba sees Chile rise, fall, and rise again. The country's hardships and successes mirror those of his own family as the Senator remains staunchly conservative even as the younger generations of his family opt for more liberal values. Trueba in his role as patriarch sees how the world has changed and holds his family together as Chile crashes around them.
Isabel fled Chile with her family and her writing has undergone changes since, depending on where she is on her life journey. This saga remains my measuring stick against which all of her other books are rated. As long as she maintains her high level of Latina magical realism, I have no difficulties rating all of her books at least 4.5 stars. Knowing that Daughter of Fortune and Portrait of Sepia make up a trilogy leading up to Los Espiritus, whenever I reread these books every few years or so, they will have to be read in succession, creating an epic family saga spanning nearly 200 years. House of the Spirits through its highs and lows will always keep its place as one of my favorite books read.
I just re-read House of the Spirits for the fourth time as part of a group read for catching up with classics in September 2016. What I can take away from this reread of Allende's contemporary classic, is that her writing is as captivating as ever, even twenty years later. Having read her memoirs and current novel, by returning to her House of the Spirits, it is hard to tell if Alba Trueba is speaking or Allende herself, as this book appears to be a fictionalized autobiography of her family. Culling through the 90 years of Esteban Trueba's life, Chile has seen her share of hardships. Yet, by writing down memories as both Clara and Alba do, one is able to break the chain of torment, so that history is no longer doomed to repeat itself. As I have the other times I have read this masterpiece, I rate House of the Spirits 5 shining stars for Allende's outstanding prose and magical realism.
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Read information about the authorIsabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist. Allende, who writes in the "magic realism" tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at several US colleges. She currently resides in California with her husband. Allende adopted U.S. citizenship in 2003.
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