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Eva Luna (Penguin Essentials) Paperback – 7 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241951658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241951651
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.8 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of nine novels, including Inès of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and Portrait in Sepia. She has also written a collection of stories, four memoirs, and a trilogy of children's novels. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Isabel Allende lives in California.

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Review

A heartfelt novel, powerful enough to make a dictator cry (Evening Standard)

She can spin a tale out of a pebble and a piece of string ... the atmosphere of encroaching doom, buried treasure and broken hearts is never tragic because there is a continual sense of life's endless opulence (Independent)

Packed with action, prodigal in invention, vivid in description and metaphor, this cleverly plotted novel is enhanced by its flowing prose and absolute assurance (The Times)

Allende's world is both sweet and sinister, and the flamboyance and power of her vision can seduce the sourest and most literal-minded reader (Daily Telegraph)

About the Author

Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru, in 1942 and moved to Chile as a child. She was a journalist for many years before publishing her first novel, The House of the Spirits¸ in 1982. She is the author of eight novels, including Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and Portrait in Sepia. She has also written a collection of stories, four memoirs, and a trilogy of children's novels. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Isabel Allende lives in California.

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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a truly engaging tale. Eva means life, and Luna, meaning moon in spanish, establishes her strong feminine, even matriachal, identity early in the book. As she takes on the different roles of daughter, mother and sister through the span of the book, we see her strong will and ability to survive in a country that is dominantly male. Eva Luna's gift of narration is very similar to Allende's own, only the latter conveys her strong, memorable message of feminism through the power of words, translated for the rest of the world to read. An extraordinarily wonderful book, and a must for anyone who has read her other books before.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Kay on 21 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Isabel Allende's Eva Luna manages to be about many diverse things: a picaresque soap opera; the story of Latin America; the tale of a woman coming to self-determination; an autobiography; a description of the creation and nature of fiction: and yet never loses its narrative fascination. Allende uses very little dialog, and the characters, Eva herself included, are more 'imaginary' than most novelists attempt: but believable and in the end quite moving.

This was narrative at its most magical. It bore the signs of great art, at least for me: the resonance of other times and places, the sense of recognition...

Eva Luna at first reminded me strongly of Fina Estampa by Caetano Veloso, so much so that I went looking for a song called Eva Luna on the CD which wasn't there.

I read recently an exact parallel of the episode of the bald patrina in a story in Ihara Saikaku's Life of an Amorous Woman written in 17th century Japan (basis for Mizoguchi's Life of Oharu for those interested), which was odd.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sal on 21 July 2008
Format: Paperback
For many years I have been curious of the genre of magical realism. A lover, decades ago, gifted me 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', but I struggled to read this dense book at the time. This novel by Isabelle Allende is not her first, 'The House of Spirits' takes this place, but it is said to be the easiest to read, one of her most accessible books, and I have not been disappointed.

She sows the seeds of stories of heightened reality throughout the first chapters of Eva Luna's life . Mainly based around a confusion of characters which are lost then re-emerge in Eva's life at a later date. Rolf Carle and Eva Luna are the central protagonists. The book begins first describing Eva's childhood, and then switches to Rolf's, detailing at the beginning that he is the man that Eva will fall in love with and marry - in some way joining the end to the beginning of the book and almost at once giving the plot away.

The book is much more dependent of the characterisations of individuals, especially in the context of how they touch Eva Luna's life. A number of Eva's significant others are carefully drawn and re-occur, during key events in Eva's life, for instance - Huberto Naranjo is the romantic tear-away street-child / guerrilla leader that rescues Eva after she rips off her madame's hair piece as a young girl and supports her financially; Melesio / Mimi who is very close to Eva and becomes a most beautiful and celebrated transexual entertainer; and Zulema and Kamal - incidental to the skin deep ugly that the kindest and most expansive character of Riad Halibi is afflicted with. It is not necessarily the plot that creates suspense but the behavoiur of these characters that involves the reader with the text and throw out cameo scenes of a strongly dreamlike almost surreal nature.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
Behind a story that might seems like fantasy there is so much realism, it could have happened in the middle of the story of some latin american country... And the characters, those are so real, in their way of suffering, of living, of loving, they are so intense! I've read it the first time when I was 15 years old, and then I read it over and over again... It's one of those books that I can say that I'm glad it came into my life, because in somehow, I was not the same after reading it............
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By HelenKarol on 3 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
I loved this quirky book. I love House of Spirits and have taught it a number of times. However, I found Daughter of Fortune slihtly disppointing in comparison - the author seemed somehow Americanised and I still haven't been able to finish Paula - as a mother I found it too scary a subject. But I craved the experience of entering into the world of Allende's Latin America. So I was delighted to find this book in a charity shop! I have mixed feelings about early magical realism novels as I find they can be too cyptic, but I feel Allende was one of the first authors to make the genre accessible.

It is even more accessible in this delightful novel. It seems lighthearted and wierd and it some ways irreverantly trivial but underlying all this is the vibrancy and violence of Latin America. The first person narration really pulled me in and I really felt an intimacy in her style - truly as if I was sitting with her in an exotic land listening to her weave her tales.

Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Claireatwaves on 9 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a big Allende fan, and this is an evocative, colourful, easy and compelling read.
Loved the book so much we named our boat Eva Luna!.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book whilst travelling in Venezeula and it really enhanced my experience of the country. Although Allende doesn't actually name the country its set in its becomes quite obvious that its Venezeula. Eva Luna's dramatic life-story perfectly mirrors the historical events in the background. An excellent novel which gives a real insight into Latin America.
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