Isabel Allende was born in Chile, and now lives in California. She worked for many years as a journalist before writing the internationally bestselling novel The House of the Spirits. Since then she has published the equally highly-acclaimed Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, The Stories of Eva Luna, ‘The Infinite Plan and ‘Paula.
One extraordinary woman. One hundred years of history. One unforgettable story. Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first daughter in a family of five boisterous sons. From the start, her life is marked by extraordinary events, for the ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth. Through her father's prescience, the family will come through that crisis unscathed, only to face a new one as the Great Depression transforms the genteel city life she has known. Her family loses all and is forced to retreat to a wild and beautiful but remote part of the country. There, she will come of age, and her first suitor will come calling. In a letter to someone she loves above all others, Violeta recounts devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, times of both poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy, and a life shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women's rights, the rise and fall of tyrants and, ultimately, not one but two pandemics. Through the eyes of a woman whose unforgettable passion, determination, and sense of humour will carry her through a lifetime of upheaval, Isabel Allende once more brings us an epic that is both fiercely inspiring and deeply emotional.
An incredibly engaging, fascinating, and rather beautiful read, this book will stay with me for some time. A couple seek refuge after the Spanish Civil War and end up in Chile, where years later they again face exile. Covering the period from 1938 through to 1994, this is a story that crosses continents, examines topics such as fascism, war, and migration, yet is as intimate as intimate can be. I entered and thought no more about the fact that this was translated from Spanish by Nick Caister and Amanda Hopkinson, it is so clearly, simply, and fabulously done. Within the first few pages there were tears in my eyes. I couldn’t stop reading, thoughtful and sensitive, yet not afraid to focus on unbearable sorrow, this feels as though it could be a biography. As Isabelle Allende explains in the acknowledgments, while this is a novel, with fictional characters (though based on people she has known), the historical events and people are real. She says: “This book wrote itself, as if it had been dictated to me” and I truly felt that. A Long Petal of the Sea opened my eyes and my heart, and has left me wanting to know more. Coming as highly recommended by me, it has also been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book.
Honest of heart and exhilarating in spirit, Isabel Allende’s The Soul of a Woman is an inspirational account of the writer’s lifelong feminism. Interweaving autobiography with astute commentary, it presents a stunning tapestry of a life lived fighting inequality in all its forms as it seeks to light the way for a better world. “When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating,” Allende begins this stirring memoir, referring to seeing her father leave her mother “with two toddlers in diapers and a newborn baby” when she was three, compelling them to move to live with her grandparents. It was here that Allende’s “anger against machismo started” as a result of realising that her mother and the housemaids were subordinates without voice or resources. The contrast made between the stoniness of patriarchy (an aggressively imposed system that “grants dominion and privileges to the male gender” and “punishes those who defy it”) and feminism’s ocean-fluid nature is sublime. Feminism “moves in waves, currents, tides, and sometimes in storms. Like the ocean, feminism, never stays quiet.” An ocean metaphor might also be applied to this book - it undulates beautifully as Allende recounts her life through feminist lens. The tone is invigorating, and charmingly familiar too, with interjected “by the way” digressions, as if in the company of a wise and passionate friend. And, like the kind of friend who brings joy to any gathering, Allende ends this book with a bright beam of optimism. While aware that inequalities have never been deeper (“we can’t continue in a civilisation based on unbridled greed and violence”), she believes that this is a time for reflection, a time to ponder what kind of world we want to live in following the brutality of a global pandemic. For Allende, that’s a world in which “peace, empathy, decency, truth, and compassion prevail.”
A captivating collection of short fiction by one of the most beloved writers of our time Eva Luna is a young woman whose powers as a storyteller bring her friendship and love. Lying in bed with her European lover, refugee and journalist Rolf Carle, Eva answers his request for a story 'you have never told anyone before' with these twenty-three samples of her vibrant artistry.
A gripping thriller from the bestselling Isabel Allende. For Amanda Martin and her friends, Ripper was all just a game. But when security guard Ed Staton is found dead in the middle of a school gym, the murder presents a mystery that baffles the San Francisco police, not least Amanda's father, Deputy Chief Martin. Amanda goes online, offering 'The Case of the Misplaced Baseball Bat' to her fellow sleuths as a challenge to their real-life wits. And so begins a most dangerous obsession. The murders begin to mount up but the Ripper players, free from any moral and legal restraints, are free to pursue any line of enquiry. As their unique power of intuition lead them ever closer to the truth, the case becomes all too personal when Amanda's mother suddenly vanishes. Could her disappearance be linked to the serial killer? And will Amanda and her online accomplices solve the mystery before it's too late?
Abandoned by her parents as a baby, Maya has been brought up by her tough grandmother Nini and her gentle grandfather Popo. At school though, teenage Maya finds herself drawn towards the wrong crowd. Before she knows what's happened, Maya's life has turned into one of drug addiction and crime. Things go from bad to worse as Maya disappears into the criminal underworld. To save her from her old associates, Nini sends Maya to a remote island off the coast of Chile. Here she lives among a traditional rural people, the Chilote, who have remained untouched by the materialism of the modern world. Basking in the warmth of the Chiloe community, Maya feels compelled to write her story and slowly she begins to heal. But can she move beyond her pain, find forgiveness and learn to live with the scars of the past?
Early in her career, Isabel Allende translated Barbara Cartland's books into Spanish so to introduce this book as 'historical novel meets chick-lit' may sound rude, but it is not meant to be. Set in the late 1700s / early 1800s and sweeping from Haiti to New Orleans, you won't find yourself bogged downby historical detail - for this is a human story with all the breathless excitement and pace you would expect from a contemporary novel. There's cruelty, racism, love and lust. Just like our world today!
Allende has a magical, lyrical style that lifts her stories into a realm of their own, and she is not an easy read. Then along comes this trilogy, of which this is the last, and I wondered what had happened to her. I discovered she wrote these for teenagers but the message of hope and fulfilment struck a chord with adults too. They are simply written with a strong moral message. Interesting.Comparison: Philip Pullman, C S Lewis, Paulo Coelho.Similar this month: None but for a spiritual adventure try Diana Cooper.
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.
**THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** **The captivating new novel from the multi-million-bestselling author of The House of the Spirits and The Japanese Lover** 'In some of the most beautiful passages in the novel, Allende explores the gentle but redemptive depths of mature love and the paths it can take . . . Allende has an unflashy wisdom to offer, a maturity that illuminates her storytelling . . . it pursues an age-old question: how to live a full life and find meaning, not just survive or endure one's past' Financial Times on In the Midst of Winter New York Times bestseller Isabel Allende returns with a beautifully crafted, multi-generational novel of struggle, endurance and friendship against the odds. Amid the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, an unexpected friendship blossoms between three people thrown together by circumstance. Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car driven by Evelyn Ortega, a young, undocumented migrant from Guatemala. But what at first seems an inconvenience takes an unforeseen and darker turn when Evelyn comes to him and his neighbour Lucia Maraz, desperately seeking help. Sweeping from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala to turbulent 1970s Chile and Brazil, and woven with Isabel Allende's trademark humanity, passion and storytelling verve, In the Midst of Winter is a mesmerizing and unforgettable tale. Praise for Isabel Allende: 'Isabel Allende is a master storyteller. When it comes to love Isabel writes from the heart to the heart and I feel all the richer for having been touched by her' Santa Montefiore 'If Allende's life depended on her narrative gifts, she'd not only survive, but reign' Los Angeles Times 'Isabel Allende is the most romantic of writers and The Japanese Lover is a novel of high romance and lush sensuality, unashamedly about the enduring power of love and ending on a note of grace' The Times 'Lush storytelling, with a liberal dusting of South American magical realism and a multi-gener ational narrative sweep' Financial Times 'Internationally beloved Allende, as effervescent in her compassion, social concerns, and profound joy in storytelling as ever, brings both humor and intensity to this madcap, soulful and transporting tale of three survivors who share their traumatic pasts ... Allende has a rare and precious gift for simultaneously challenging and entrancing readers' Booklist, starred review 'Grief and loss are transformed into healing friendship in this fantastic novel ... A suspenseful, icy adventure. Filled with Allende's signature lyricism and ingenious plotting, the book delves wonderfully into what it means to respect, protect, and love' Publishers Weekly 'This winter's tale has something to melt each frozen heart' Kirkus Reviews
Best selling international author, Isabel Allende tackles her homeland head-on in this staggering, epic romance. 'Portrait in Sepia' is both a magnificent historical novel set at the end of the nineteenth century in Chile and a marvellous family saga peopled by characters from 'Daughter of Fortune' and 'The House of the Spirits', two of Allende's most celebrated novels. As a young girl, Aurora del Valle suffered a brutal trauma that has shaped her character and erased from her mind all recollection of the first five years of her life. Raised by her ambitious grandmother, the regal and commanding Paulina del Valle, she grows up in a privileged environment, free of the limitations that circumscribe the lives of women at that time, but tormented by terrible nightmares. When she finds herself alone at the end of an unhappy love affair, she decides to explore the mystery of her past, to discover what it was, exactly, all those years ago, that had such a devastating effect on her young life. Richly detailed, epic in scope, this engrossing story of the dark power of hidden secrets is intimate in its probing of human character, and thrilling in the way it illuminates the complexity of family ties.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING NOVEL FROM LITERARY LEGEND ISABEL ALLENDE 'Epic, beautifully crafted . . . Gripping from start to finish' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'A moving exploration of both the pain and the freedom of being an outsider' NEW STATESMAN 'A new novel by Isabel Allende is always a treat' DAILY MAIL One extraordinary woman. One hundred years of history. One unforgettable story. Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first daughter in a family of five boisterous sons. From the start, her life is marked by extraordinary events. The ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth. Told in the form of a letter to someone Violeta loves above all others, this is the story of a hundred-year life - of devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy. Bearing witness to a century of history, it is a life shaped by the fight for women's rights, the rise and fall of tyrants and, ultimately, not one but two pandemics. Through the eyes of a woman whose unforgettable passion, determination and sense of humour will carry her through a lifetime of upheaval, Isabel Allende once more brings us an epic that is both fiercely inspiring and deeply emotional.
_______________ THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER _______________ 'A powerful love story spanning generations... Full of ambition and humanity' - Sunday Times 'One of the strongest and most affecting works in Allende's long career' - New York Times Book Review _______________ On September 3, 1939, the day of the Spanish exiles' splendid arrival in Chile, the Second World War broke out in Europe. Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that leaves his life - and the fate of his country - forever changed. Together with his sister-in-law, the pianist Roser, he is forced out of his beloved Barcelona and into exile. When opportunity to seek refuge arises, they board a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda to Chile, the promised 'long petal of sea and wine and snow'. There, they find themselves enmeshed in a rich web of characters who come together in love and tragedy over the course of four generations, destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world. A masterful work of historical fiction that soars from the Spanish Civil War to the rise and fall of Pinochet, A Long Petal of the Sea is Isabel Allende at the height of her powers. _______________ 'A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging' - Independent Online 'A defiantly warm and funny novel, by somebody who has earned the right to argue that love and optimism can survive whatever history might throw at us' - Daily Telegraph 'A grand storyteller who writes with surpassing compassion and insight. Her place as an icon of world literature was secured long ago' - Khaled Hosseini 'A novel not just for those of us who have been Allende fans for decades, but also for those who are brand new to her work: what a joy it must be to come upon Allende for the first time' - Colum McCann 'Allende's style is impressively Olympian and the payoff is remarkable' - Guardian 'Epic in scope, yet intimate in execution' - i
**The moving novel from the multi-million-bestselling author of The House of the Spirits and The Japanese Lover** Irene Beltran is a force to be reckoned with. As a magazine journalist - an unusual profession for a woman with her privileged upbringing - she is constantly challenging the oppressive regime. Her investigative partner is photographer Francisco Leal, the son of impoverished Spanish Marxist emigres. They are an inseparable team, and - despite Irene's engagement to an army captain - form a passionate connection. When an assignment leads them to uncover an unspeakable crime, they are determined to reveal the truth in a national overrun by terror and violence. Together they will risk everything for justice - and ultimately to embrace the passion that binds them. Praise for Isabel Allende's Of Love and Shadows: '[Allende] can just as deftly depict loving tenderness as convey the high fire of eroticism. And when you've successfully mingled sex and politics with a noble cause, how can you go wrong? New York Times Book Review 'Allende is a born storyteller' Chicago Tribune 'The people in Of Love and Shadows are real, their triumphs and defeats are so faithful to the truth of human existence, that we see the world in miniature. This is precisely what fiction should do' Washington Post 'We are by turns enchanted and entertained . . . Allende has married the world of magic and political evil most credibly' LA Times Book Review
New York Times and worldwide bestselling ';dazzling storyteller' (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accidentwhich becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmastera 60-year-old human rights scholarhits the car of Evelyn Ortegaa young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemalain the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor's house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraza 62-year-old lecturer from Chilefor her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia. Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende's landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of ';humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics' (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
This reprint of a White Pine Press classic brings together an astonishing range of work from the turn of the century to the present. Despite cultural maxims encouraging them to be silent, women continue to speak, often through the language of poetry, where there is an abundance of intuition and the possibility of reclaiming power through language. In the work included here, we see how the common threads of courage and inventiveness can be woven into a bright tapestry of women's voices that presents a true picture of a culture that must create its own history. Over fifty poets, including those well-known, such as Gabriela Mistral, Alfonsina Storni, and Cristina Peri Rossi, and those just emerging are included. Marjorie Agosin, editor of the Secret Weavers series, is well-known as a poet, writer, and human rights activist. She is a professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
From internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende comes an exquisitely crafted, multigenerational love story. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis and the world goes to war, young Alma Belasco's parents send her overseas to live with an aunt and uncle in their opulent San Francisco mansion. There she meets Ichimei Fukuda, the son of the family's Japanese gardener, and between them a tender love blossoms, but following Pearl Harbor the two are cruelly pulled apart. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love they are forever forced to hide from the world. Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to reconcile her own troubled past, meets the older woman and her grandson, Seth, at Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, and learn about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.
From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War.In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belascos parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the familys Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his familylike thousands of other Japanese Americansare declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world. Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Franciscos charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years. Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover explores questions of identity, abandonment, redemption, and the unknowable impact of fate on our lives. Written with the same attention to historical detail and keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits, The Japanese Lover is a profoundly moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.
A gripping thriller from the bestselling Isabel Allende. For Amanda Martin and her friends, Ripper was all just a game. But when security guard Ed Staton is found dead in the middle of a school gym, the murder presents a mystery that baffles the San Francisco police, not least Amanda's father, Deputy Chief Martin. Amanda goes online, offering `The Case of the Misplaced Baseball Bat' to her fellow sleuths as a challenge to their real-life wits. And so begins a most dangerous obsession. The murders begin to mount up but the Ripper players, free from any moral and legal restraints, are free to pursue any line of enquiry. As their unique power of intuition lead them ever closer to the truth, the case becomes all too personal when Amanda's mother suddenly vanishes. Could her disappearance be linked to the serial killer? And will Amanda and her online accomplices solve the mystery before it's too late?
The author of 'The House of the Spirits' returns with a gritty yet transcendent tale of teenage addiction. The narrator and protagonist of MAYA'S NOTEBOOK is a 19 year old girl who grows up in Berkeley, California, and falls into a life of drug addiction and crime. To rescue Maya, and save her from the criminal types pursuing her, Maya's Chilean grandmother sends her to a remote island off the southern coast of Chile. Here she lives among a traditional rural people, the Chilote, who speak an older form of Spanish and have remained largely isolated from the materialism, crime, and fast-paced contemporary life which is our own. The book alternates between the narrative in the US and that on Chiloe, the island, so the two strands of the story unfold for the reader at more or less the same time. This new book is very different from Isabel's previous historical novels: a contemporary setting; an American (of Latino descent) teenage drug addict as the protagonist and narrating voice; a realistic style of writing rather than a magical realistic one (Chiloe exists, and one can visit it). Maya's voice is modeled on that of Isabel's teenage granddaughter, a native of the Bay area (San Francisco, Berkeley).
'My name is Eva, which means life , according to a book of names my mother consulted. I was born in the back room of a shadowy house, and grew up amidst ancient furniture, books in Latin, and human mummies, but none of those things made me melancholy, because I came into the world with a breath of the jungle in my memory.' Isabel Allende tells the sweet and sinister story of an orphan who beguiles the world with her astonishing visions, triumphing over the worst of adversity and bringing light to a dark place.
From the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, Isabel Allende's latest novel tells the story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny in a society where that would seem impossible. Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarite - known as Tete - is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tete finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves. When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it's with powdered wigs in his trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father's plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Against the merciless backdrop of sugar cane fields, the lives of Tete and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives at the gates of Saint Lazare, they flee the island that will become Haiti for the decadence and opportunity of New Orleans. There, Tete finally forges a new life - but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not so easily severed. Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of one woman's determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.
A brilliant memoir from the celebrated Chilean novelist on friends, family and life in California, her adopted home. Isabel Allende has sold more than 50 million copies of her books worldwide. The most beloved and successful of her books, 'The House of the Spirits', was based on her Chilean childhood, and her autobiographical works include the deeply moving 'Paula' - a family history written at the bedside of her daughter while she lay in a coma - and the fascinating 'My Invented Country', which explored the events of her native Chile where she lived until Pinochet's military coup. Now, in 'The Sum of the Days', we have Isabel describe in an exceptionally vivid, human and deeply personal way her life in California where she has lived for more than 25 years. The first page picks up from where Paula ends - her daughter never did wake up from her coma and died in 1992 - when Allende recounts spreading Paula's ashes in her favourite part of the woods by their home. It is fair to say that Isabel has never recovered from losing her daughter but has managed to survive by keeping her husband, son, grandchildren as well as close friends - kindred spirits - central to her life. 'The Sum of the Days', based on Allende's own journals and daily correspondence with her mother in Chile, reveals the author to be a dazzling, generous, warm and hysterically funny matriarch within her swirl of family and friends.
The vibrant new novel from Isabel Allende takes her back to her homeland of Chile, and tells the story of the first Spanish woman to arrive on its shores with the Conquistadors in the 1500s. A real historical figure, Ines Suarez came to Chile with the Conquistadors in 1540, helping to claim the territory for Spain and to found the first Spanish settlement in Santiago. In this remarkable novel, Isabel Allende - one of the world's most spellbinding storytellers - re-imagines Ines's life and that of the two men who become her lover and husband respectively. 'Ines of My Soul' evokes the conflict and drama of the Conquistadors' arrival in Chile, as well as helping restore the reputation of Ines, a powerful woman long neglected by history and a patriarchal society. It also finds Allende returning to territory beloved of her and her readers - imaginative historical fiction, evocatively told - and to the familiar landscape of her native country. The novel gives Ines the recognition and glory that are rightfully hers; but more than that it is an epic tale of love and conquest, lyrically written and enchantingly told by a writer at the peak of her powers.
Bestselling author Isabel Allende's first adult novel since 'Portrait in Sepia' - beautiful, disturbing and atmospheric. Beneath the mask, there is a man. And in his heart burns the fire of injustice ... Duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates and impossible rescues - these are the deeds that forged the legend of Zorro. But where did the man begin? Southern California, late 18th century: Diego de la Vega is a child of two worlds, his father an aristocratic Spaniard, his mother a Shoshone warrior. Growing up he witnesses the brutual injustices dealt to Native Americans. Later, following the example of his fencing master, the young Diego joins a secret movement devoted to helping the powerless. His first steps on the road to heroism have been taken. But a great rival will emerge from the ranks of the cruel oppressors. How will Zorro defeat him? And will his childhood sweetheart Isabel claim the prize she so longs for - his true love?
In December 1991, Allende's daughter Paula, aged 26, fell gravely ill and sank into a coma. This book started as a letter to Paula written during the hours spent at her bedside, and became a personal memoir and a testament to the ties that bind families - a brave, enlightening, inspiring true story. This book was written during the interminable hours the novelist Isabel Allende spent in the corridors of a Madrid hospital, in her hotel room and beside her daughter Paula's bed during the summer and autumn of 1992. Faced with the loss of her child, Isabel Allende turned to storytelling, to sustain her own spirit and to convey to her daughter the will to wake up, to survive. The story she tells is that of her own life, her family history and the tragedy of her nation, Chile, in the years leading up to Pinochet's brutal military coup.