/ Key title 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. / Isabel Allende is one of the biggest quality brand authors writing today. / 'Zorro' sold over 8,000 copies in hardback in the UK alone. / Allende always attracts widespread review coverage in national and regional press and magazines. / 'The Forest of Pygmies' has sold over 70,000 copies in the UK and abroad since hardback publication, and 'Portrait in Sepia' has sold over 120,000 copies in paperback in the UK.
Isabel Allende was born in 1942, and is the niece of Salvador Allende, who went on to become famous as the elected President of Chile deposed in a CIA-backed coup. She worked as a journalist, playwright and children's writer in Chile until 1974 and then in Venezuela until 1984. Her first novel for adults, `The House of the Spirits', was published in Spanish in 1982, beginning life as a letter to her dying grandfather. It was an international sensation, and ever since all her books have been acclaimed and adored in numberless translations worldwide.
Allende (The House of the Spirits) once again features a strong woman in her new novel, which is based on the life of In?s Suarez, who came to the Americas around 1537 in search of a wayward husband. After learning of his death, she joins Pedro de Valdivia, the conqueror of Chile, as his mistress and fellow conquistador in the defense of Santiago against the Native Americans. This fictionalized account of one of Chile's national heroines is meticulously researched and offers a detailed account of a little-known time period in history, as an older In?s recounts her life story. Unfortunately, this passive retelling of hardships, battles, and love affairs becomes dry, tedious, and repetitive. Seldom are readers allowed to experience the story as it happens. Instead of eagerly anticipating each part of an unfolding drama, they may have to force themselves to pick the book up again and soldier onward, much as In?s and her comrades did as they marched through the deserts of South America. Recommended for Allende's popularity. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/06.] Kellie Gillespie, City of Mesa Lib., AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
`Allende's version of events sees Ines Suarez as the puppeteer pulling the strings of the influential men she's involved with. She is quick-witted, militarily astute and has a deep understanding of `the enemy'. Allende does not attempt to rewrite the past. Instead, she provides a colourful glimpse into the life of a daring Spanish woman whose vital role has been forgotten by history.' Daily Express
`Fresh and provocative looks at this fascinating period of history.' New Statesman
`Writing about her homeland and its history, she brings to her work a passion and commitment worthy of her vividly drawn characters.' Glasgow Herald
Only months after the inauguration of Chile's first female president, Allende recounts in her usual sweeping style the grand tale of Do?a In?s Su rez (1507- 1580), arguably the country's founding mother. Writing in the year of her death, In?s tells of her modest girlhood in Spain and traveling to the New World as a young wife to find her missing husband, Juan. Upon learning of Juan's humiliating death in battle, In?s determines to stay in the fledgling colony of Peru, where she falls fervently in love with Don Pedro de Valdivia, loyal field marshal of Francisco Pizarro. The two lovers aim to found a new society based on Christian and egalitarian principles that Valdivia later finds hard to reconcile with his personal desire for glory. In?s proves herself not only a capable helpmate and a worthy cofounder of a nation, but also a ferocious fighter who both captivates and frightens her fellow settlers. In?s narrates with a clear eye and a sensitivity to native peoples that rarely lapses into anachronistic political correctness. Basing the tale on documented events of her heroine's life, Allende crafts a swift, thrilling epic, packed with fierce battles and passionate romance. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.