Adventures in Reading


Revisted: Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende

I had heard a lot of good things about Allende and particularly about Inés of My Soul, and the book certainly did not live up to its reputation. It’s a work of historical fiction representing Inés Suarez who helped the Spanish conquistadors colonize Chile. Allende offers an interesting perspective trying not to over romanticize the Spanish conquest but still ensures that the native Chileans are indeed “savages.” The book never felt like it was Inés’ story and rather simply seemed like her perspective on how the men in her life lived their lives. The retrospective narrative told from the elderly Inés who faces death is reminiscent of Tristram Shandy with regularly diverging stories before she returns to the main plot. Overall, the book had interesting possibilities but read slowly and tediously.

I’m reading Allende’s Daughter of Fortune now and I love it, and I wonder if I was a little too harsh when describing Inés of My Soul. I do think it was a book that I heard a lot of hype about and Allende is certainly a familiar author. Perhaps I should have started off on what is considered an Allende classic rather than what was her latest book at the time. I definitely would like to reread Inés of My Soul in the future.

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7 Comments

[…] Revisted: Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende I had heard a lot of good things about Allende and particularly about Inés of My Soul, and the book certainly did not live up to its reputation. It’sa work of historical fiction representing Inés Suarez who helped the Spanish … […]

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I’ve been a big Allende fan so I was looking forward to reading Ines of My Soul but was so disappointed by it. I think what bugged me the most was that it felt like Ines was practically wonder woman. She did it all. I will certainly read more by Allende and hope that Ines was just a blip.

Comment by iliana

I loved Daughter of Fortune and Portrait in Sepia. Two great books by her. I haven’t read any of her latest work but she does have an unusual writing style that takes a bit to get used to. If you like Daughter of Fortune then I recommend Portrait in Sepia.

Comment by Amanda

Iliana: I am glad to hear that Ines of My Soul was the exception and not the rule. I had a terrific time reading Daughter of Fortune and am looking forward to returning to some of Allende’s “classics.”

Amanda: I’m glad I held out and read Daughter of Fortune. I truly enjoyed it and I’ll have to keep Portrait in Sepia in mind for a future read!

Comment by bookchronicle

I love Allende’s work but I struggled some with Ines – the gore and violence was a bit much for me. I still so admired her writing and storytelling ability. Try her first novel, House of the Spirits, it’s truly an amazing book.

Comment by terri

Terri: I have heard only fabulous things about her earlier novels, like House of Spirits, and will definitely take the time to peruse these as well.

Comment by bookchronicle

[…] of Fortune by Isabel Allende is my second book by Allende. After my disappointment with Inés of My Soul, I did not get around to picking up another book until nearly a year later. Daughter of Fortune is […]

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