Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Eva Luna | Isabel Allende

As soon as I started this book I was hooked and unequivocally sold on Allende’s prose. This is the first of her novels that I read and I loved it. Of course I went on to read them all. Eva Luna is the story of a young Latin American girl who discovers
love, friendship and success through her incredible ability as storyteller. 

Eva Luna is an orphan and learns about life through meeting the people in her barrio who give her the wisdom she needs for life. The urchin who commits petty crimes and later leads a band of guerrillas; a local Lebanese who takes her in and nurtures her; the transsexual eccentric who educates her in the ways of the world; her godmother who's mind is gone and thus lives in a world populated by all the saints in her calendar. In the characters we meet a version of a South American country which is rich in it's social make up. Rich, poor, sophisticated and the simple minded are all beautifully portrayed. 

I really enjoy the way these stories capture the likeness of people and situations. 
If you enjoy this novel read "The Stories of Eva Luna" which continues the story of her life. 

“Paula” tells the tragic story of Allende’s vigil by her daughter’s bedside through a fatal illness. She recounts her family history for Paula, just in case she can hear. In "My Invented Country"  she tells of her family’s history in Chile and subsequent escape to the USA because of her family’s political affiliations to Allende. “City of the Beasts” is a short novel for older children. There are many more titles.
I have read Allende in Spanish and in English translation and both are fabulous.
Eva Luna
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