Books by Isabel Allende

RIPPER by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 28, 2014

"Credit Allende for attempting to expand her range, but crime fiction is plainly not her forte."
A seasoned hand at the intimate Latin American literary novel and young-adult fantasy takes an ungainly stab at a page-turner about a serial killer. Read full book review >
MAYA'S NOTEBOOK by Isabel Allende
Released: April 23, 2013

"Allende is a master at plucking heartstrings, and Maya's family drama is hard to resist, but the sentimentality and a lack of subtlety concerning politics, Chilean and American, can grate."
A 19-year-old Californian escapes her troubled past when her grandmother sends her to an isolated Chilean community in the latest confection of spiritual uplift, political instruction and lyrical melodrama from Allende (Island Beneath the Sea, 2010, etc.). Read full book review >
ISLAND BENEATH THE SEA by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 27, 2010

"A rich gumbo of melodrama, romance and violence."
Given recent events, the timing couldn't be better for this historical fiction from Allende (The Sum of Our Days, 2008, etc.), which follows a slave/concubine from Haiti during the slave uprisings to New Orleans in time for the Louisiana Purchase. Read full book review >
THE SUM OF OUR DAYS by Isabel Allende
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2008

"A turbulent life to be both pitied and envied, and a book to be savored and reread."
Loving tribute to an unorthodox family. Read full book review >
INÉS OF MY SOUL by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 7, 2006

"Turgid and detached—homework masquerading as epic."
Chilean author Allende (Zorro, 2005, etc.) recounts the life of a national heroine in this historical novel. Read full book review >
ZORRO by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 4, 2005

"Allende's tale risks but resists descending into melodrama at every turn. The up-to-date, even postmodern ending makes for a nice touch, too, and will gladden the heart of anyone ready in his or her heart to carve a few Zs into the bad guys."
A graceful imagining of the saber-wielding, justice-dispensing freedom fighter of yore. Read full book review >
FOREST OF THE PYGMIES by Isabel Allende
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2005

"A rich but ultimately disappointing travelogue. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Allende takes her readers into the wilds of Africa in the final installment of her fantasy adventure trilogy that follows City of the Beasts (2002) and Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (2004). Read full book review >
KINGDOM OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON by Isabel Allende
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2004

"Awkward and overly expository prose makes this otherwise promising offering waver between magical adventure and social-studies lesson. (Fiction. 13-15)"
The adolescent heroes of City of the Beasts are off for another journey with primitive peoples and spectacular creatures in this clunky sequel. Read full book review >
MY INVENTED COUNTRY by Isabel Allende
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2003

"Dazzling as a kaleidoscope: an artful tumbling and knocking that throws light and reveals strange depths."
"I can't be objective where Chile is concerned," writes novelist Allende (City of the Beasts, 2002, etc.) in this evocative and, yes, highly personal, social geography cum memoir. Read full book review >
CITY OF THE BEASTS by Isabel Allende
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"Whether this is the fault of the original writing or the translation from the Spanish is immaterial; this flaw, combined with the general pointlessness of the plot, makes this offering—all 416 pages of it—an excruciating experience. (Fiction. 10+)"
A moody American teen finds himself up the Amazon without a paddle in this aimlessly meandering and cliché-ridden fantasy. Read full book review >
PORTRAIT IN SEPIA by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 28, 2001

"Though her narrative spans nearly 50 years of Chilean and American history, it's Allende's remarkable flair for character that makes it all come alive."
Complex, intriguing, ambitious, and uneven sequel to Oprah selection Daughter of Fortune (1999), continuing the story of Eliza Sommers, as told by her granddaughter, Aurora del Valle. Read full book review >
DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 10, 1999

"With this novel, the same may not be said of readers who enjoy Allende's fiction. (Book-of-the-Month Club dual main selection; author tour)"
Allende's first novel in six years (The Infinite Plan, 1993, etc.) delivers her gentle, often plush style at extravagant length to tell the life of Eliza Sommers, a Chilean woman who immigrates to San Francisco in the 1840s. Read full book review >
APHRODITE by Isabel Allende
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 1, 1998

"Her tact amplifies the eros that pornography kills. ($125,000 ad/promo; radio satellite tour)"
An elegant grandmother ponders the erotic side of food and the most delicious aspects of eros. Read full book review >
PAULA by Isabel Allende
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 2, 1995

"A fascinating window into the creative world of Allende, who, with dignity and courage, tells her life's story as reflected through the tragic death of her daughter."
In her first nonfiction work, Allende (The Infinite Plan, 1993, etc.) produces a beautiful and deeply personal account of the process of grieving and the power of stories. Read full book review >
THE INFINITE PLAN by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Potentially original characters, denied their own voices as the writer does the telling, are ultimately overwhelmed by sentimental and overwrought gush. (First printing of 100,000)"
The first North America-set novel by Allende (The Stories of Eva Luna, 1991, etc.) begins with a beguiling freshness that rapidly degenerates into boring leftist commentary-cum-melodrama— in a plot that goes on and on until it mercifully fizzles out in platitudes. Read full book review >
THE STORIES OF EVA LUNA by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 23, 1991

"Allende can do better."
A collection of magical-realist short stories narrated by Allende's recent heroine, Eva Luna (Eva Luna, 1988; Of Love and Shadows, 1987; The House of Spirits, 1985), which are set in nameless Latin American countries, any time in the past, and peopled with characters who could be and probably are meant to be someone else. Read full book review >
EVA LUNA by Isabel Allende
Released: Oct. 21, 1988

"Lively entertainment, then, with little resonance."
Here, after last year's Of Love and Shadows, the tale of a quirky young woman's rise to influence in an unnamed South American country—with a delightful cast of exotic characters, but without the sure-handed plotting and leisurely grace of Allende's first—and best—book, The House of the Spirits (1985). Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 23, 1985

"So, even if this saga isn't really much deeper than the Belva Plain variety, it's uncommonly satisfying—with sturdy, old-fashioned storytelling and a fine array of exotic, historical shadings."
A strong, absorbing Chilean family chronicle, plushly upholstered—with mystical undercurrents (psychic phenomena) and a measure of leftward political commitment. Read full book review >
THE STORIES OF EVA LUNA by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE

"Allende can do better."
A collection of magical-realist short stories narrated by Allende's recent heroine, Eva Luna (Eva Luna, 1988; Of Love and Shadows, 1987; The House of Spirits, 1985), which are set in nameless Latin American countries, any time in the past, and peopled with characters who could be and probably are meant to be someone else. Read full book review >
OF LOVE AND SHADOWS by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE

" Completely unbelievable, lacking any artfulness."
With none of the thick variety of The House of the Spirits (1985), only sharing that better book's political zeal, Allende returns with a damp-Kleenex papier-mâché construction that pits a conventionally unlikely love duo against the fierce bloodthirstiness of an unnamed Latin American Society (Argentina, Chile, take your pick). Read full book review >