The House of the Spirits: A Novel

by Isabel Allende

Random House Publishing Group | August 30, 2005 | Trade Paperback

The House of the Spirits: A Novel is rated 5 out of 5 by 8.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.

The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 448 pages, 8.26 × 5.2 × 0.96 in

Published: August 30, 2005

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553383809

ISBN - 13: 9780553383805

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was a great story. This is the first book I've read by Isabel Allende, she is a great story teller. A friend told me to read "The House of the Spirits" and I wasn't disappointed. It consists of many emotions and left me wanting to know more about the political situation of where this story took place.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Splendid! This is the first of a long list of Allende books I planned to read. I read it for english class, and was blown away. Don't get me wrong I love literature but to find such a gem among the list of long winded authors like Hugo, and Dickens was incredible. I was surprised to find this Latin American novel. Allende uses magical realism to emphasise the ways of life and experiences of the family this follows so extrodinarily that you begin to feel like a part of the story. However fictional this novel seems it is based upon the personal experiences of Allende and her family. She is Alba, carefully dipicting her families story and reconstucting it in a fashion that is fictional and yet non-fiction at the same time. Congratuations to Allende on this superb work, even though she will never hear it from me. I can only hope that my love of this book is spread to others.
Date published: 2006-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolute Perfection The House of the Spirits is easily one of the best books i have ever read. When i first read this novel, i was so enraptured by the utter beauty of it, i read it three times in one month. Since then i've read it several times over, and was pleasantly surprised to find that all of Allende's works are equally beautiful and life changing. This book changed the way that i look at books. I highly reccommend this book to anyone. It has everything imaginable encompassed within it, and achieves such a unique beauty that i have yet to come upon a book that has struck me as much as this one.
Date published: 2005-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Novel of a lifetime This book came to me by coincidence, but it is not a coincidence that it has been so succesful. If there is only one book you read your entire life, make it this one. It is one of the most inspiring novels ever written and it deserves a much better film version than the one that came out with Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons.
Date published: 2002-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Discovering the Power of Family When Allende wrote "The House of the Spirits" she had succeeded in capturing more than a family saga. Not only was the reader able to to see the termoil that plagued Chilie but most importantly the reader was able to comprehend this tragedy through the life of a family.Probably the most enthralling feature of the book was its random style. even though the reader was presented with so much detail and thoughts it beautifully tied the reader into the book. Allende was able to keep the reader in a state of indecision over their true feelings towards the characters. Sometimes we loved and sometimes we loathed the characters but Allende allowed us to have a change of heart even for characters that we saw the worst in. On the whole this novel illuminated on the themes of love, revenge and power but most of all the importance of family and the human spirit. One was able to see how even in toughest times the human spirit can never be broken. It was through these horrid situations Allende presented us with that the reader is able to find some stability within their own life and learn the true importance that family is there to the end. Isabelle Allende captred our hearts and throughly taught the reader how to see life through a different lens. There have been few books that I have read that have had such a vast force to stir the morality of the reader.
Date published: 2001-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good look at life This book is an amzing picture of all the differences in people brought together in one familly. The contrast of the feelings and caracters brings up conflicts which are solved by love. It concerns all generations. If you would like to end up a book and have a feeling you gained awfully a lot that's the book for you.
Date published: 2001-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The power of women This is my favourite Isabel Allende's book. It tells me how powerful women are in a men's world. Keep writting Isabel, please!.
Date published: 2000-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The House of the Spirits This manuscript is really a long piece of poetry that covers ghosts, romance, political intrigue, domestic violence, and cultural battles. A remarkable wife warns her violent husband never to turn his fist on her, and when he does, she punishes him by becoming mute. She never utters another word to him again, although they stay together in a surreal mime of existence. After she dies, her ghost resumes communication. This ambitious novel demonstrates the pain of an abusive marriage and the intricate balance on which love and loyalty rest. I Recommend this book to anyone who loves the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez - the magic realism is as stunning as the master's.
Date published: 1998-12-14

– More About This Product –

The House of the Spirits: A Novel

by Isabel Allende

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 448 pages, 8.26 × 5.2 × 0.96 in

Published: August 30, 2005

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553383809

ISBN - 13: 9780553383805

About the Book

Here, in an astonishing debut by a gifted storyteller, is the magnificent saga of proud and passionate men and women and the turbulent times through which they suffer and triumph. They are the Truebas. And theirs is a world you will not want to leave, and one you will not forget.
Esteban -- The patriarch, a volatile and proud man whose lust for land is legendary and who is haunted by his tyrannical passion for the wife he can never completely possess.
Clara -- The matriarch, elusive and mysterious, who foretells family tragedy and shapes the fortunes of the house of the Truebas.
Blanca -- Their daughter, soft-spoken yet rebellious, whose shocking love for the son of her father's foreman fuels Esteban's everlasting contempt... even as it produces the grandchild he adores.
Alba -- The fruit of Blanca's forbidden love, a luminous bearty, a fiery and willful woman... the family's break with the past and link to the future.

"From the Paperback edition."

Read from the Book

Chapter One Rosa the Beautiful Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. She was already in the habit of writing down important matters, and afterward, when she was mute, she also recorded trivialities, never suspecting that fifty years later I would use her notebooks to reclaim the past and overcome terrors of my own. Barrabás arrived on a Holy Thursday. He was in a despicable cage, caked with his own excrement and urine, and had the lost look of a hapless, utterly defenseless prisoner; but the regal carriage of his head and the size of his frame bespoke the legendary giant he would become. It was a bland, autumnal day that gave no hint of the events that the child would record, which took place during the noon mass in the parish of San Sebastián, with her whole family in attendance. As a sign of mourning, the statues of the saints were shrouded in purple robes that the pious ladies of the congregation unpacked and dusted off once a year from a cupboard of sacristy. Beneath these funereal sheets the celestial retinue resembled nothing so much as a roomful of furniture awaiting movers, an impression that the candles, the incense, and the soft moans of the organ were powerless to counteract. Terrifying dark bundles loomed where the life-size saints had stood, each with its influenza-pale expression, its elaborate wig woven from the hair of someone long dead, its rubies, pearls and emeralds of painted glass, and the rich gown
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From the Publisher

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.

The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.

From the Jacket

Here, in an astonishing debut by a gifted storyteller, is the magnificent saga of proud and passionate men and women and the turbulent times through which they suffer and triumph. They are the Truebas. And theirs is a world you will not want to leave, and one you will not forget.
Esteban -- The patriarch, a volatile and proud man whose lust for land is legendary and who is haunted by his tyrannical passion for the wife he can never completely possess.
Clara -- The matriarch, elusive and mysterious, who foretells family tragedy and shapes the fortunes of the house of the Truebas.
Blanca -- Their daughter, soft-spoken yet rebellious, whose shocking love for the son of her father''s foreman fuels Esteban''s everlasting contempt... even as it produces the grandchild he adores.
Alba -- The fruit of Blanca''s forbidden love, a luminous bearty, a fiery and willful woman... the family''s break with the past and link to the future.

"From the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in Peru, Isabel Allende is Chilean. She was a journalist for many years and began to write fiction in 1981. The result was the worldwide bestseller The House of the Spirits, which was followed by the equally successful Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, The Stories of Eva Luna, and Daughter of Fortune. Long a resident of Caracas, she now makes her home in San Rafael, California.

Editorial Reviews

“Spectacular.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Nothing short of astonishing . . . In The House of the Spirits Isabel Allende has indeed shown us the relationships between past and present, family and nation, city and country, spiritual and political values. She has done so with enormous imagination, sensitivity, and compassion.”—San Francisco Chronicle
  
“A vivid, absorbing work of art . . . [Allende’s] characters are fascinatingly detailed and human.”—People
 
“Extraordinary . . . powerful . . . sharply observant, witty and eloquent.”—The New York Times
 
“Mesmerizing . . . a novel of force and charm.”—The Washington Post

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