Search Results: "Isabel Allende"


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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

BOOK REVIEW

THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Vividly and pointedly evoking prejudices 'unconventional' couples among the current-day elderly faced (and some are still battling), Allende, as always, gives progress and hopeful spirits their due."
Honored last year with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her inspiring fiction and soul-baring memoirs, Allende (Ripper, 2014, etc.) offers a saga of a couple that keeps its affair secret for the better half of a century. Read full book review >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

BOOK REVIEW

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 >

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 >