Daughter of Fortune: A Novel by Isabel Allende

daughter of fortuneThis book is available both English and Spanish in a variety of formats for example, as a Paperback/Hardback in English from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Fortune-Novel-Isabel-Allende/dp/0061565334/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382360996&sr=8-1&keywords=Daughter+of+Fortune%3A+A+Novel+by+Isabel+Allende

and in Kindle format in Spanish here http://www.amazon.com/Hija-fortuna-Spanish-ebook/dp/B00EJRSF0W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1382360996&sr=8-2&keywords=Daughter+of+Fortune%3A+A+Novel+by+Isabel+Allende

Review by Joe Cortez

Reading Isabel Allende´s books is like a trying to use the same bag of tea over and over again. It tastes great the first time, but when you try to use it for a second cup… it is just not that wonderful anymore. Then the flavor keeps going down on the third and fourth cup, until it becomes just a distant memory of a past pleasure.

No one can deny that Allende is a cultural phenomenon: She has sold 57 million books in 35 languages and is considered today the most successful living author in the Spanish letters.

Still, it seems that it is generally considered that her first books are better than the last ones. I happen to agree; her first book, “The House of Spirits,” published in 1982 took the world by surprise and became a great success, with Allende being compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

To me, her last wonderful book was “Daughter of Fortune.” On this lengthy work (more than 400 pages) Isabel follows Eliza Sommers, a young Chilean girl who leaves her home at Valparaiso to go looking for her lover to San Francisco.

Pregnant and without money, family or any resource at her hand, Eliza manages to reach the US with the help of an improvised friend, Tao Chi’en.

Through the course of the book we learn more about Eliza´s past, her origin and the true story of the Sommers family in Chile. We also read the sad story of Tao Chi’en, just one of many Chinese nationals who arrived at San Francisco during the golden rush.

Once in the US, Eliza tries to start the search for her lover, but life keeps getting in her way. She is finally able to settle down and start a living when news about him reach her.

Up until the last sentence of the book we believe Eliza´s quest to be about love. On the very last line we learn that it is not.

“Daughter of Fortune” is definitely, a wonderful book to read and one that you must keep on your Allende´s list. 

Other works from her that I would recommend are:

·         The House of the Spirits (1982) La casa de los espíritus”,

·         Of Love and Shadows (1985) De amor y de sombra”,

·         Eva Luna (1987) Eva Luna” and

·         The Stories of Eva Luna (1989) Cuentos de Eva Luna”

Any other book that I have read from her, outside of this list, has left me a bittersweet taste.

Joe Cortes runs “Publica tu eBook” a translation business focused in helping English speaking authors publish their eBooks in Spanish at www.amazon.com.mx. He can be found at publicatuebook.wordpress.com or at joe@publicatuebook.ca

 

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