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Eva Luna (Penguin Essentials) Paperback – 7 Apr 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241951658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241951651
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 2 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Another of Allende's most magical novels, the tale of Eva Luna, the illegitimate child of a maid. Eva's mother dies when her daughter is six, and Eva is sent out into the world to also work as a servant. But Eva has a wonderful gift - she is a magical and compulsive teller of stories. This gift helps Eva survive a childhood as a maid, and continues to be of use to her as she spends a year living with prostitutes, and an adolescence as the foster-daughter of a kindly Turk and his depressive wife in a small rainforest village. As a young woman, Eva returns to the capital city of her (unnamed) South American country following a dramatic incident (I won't spoil it by saying what!). There a friendship with a transsexual who she first met as a child finally lands her the career she's always dreamed of as a writer. Along with the unforgettable Eva, there are many other wonderful characters: Rolf Carle, the Austrian boy abused by his Nazi father in his native country and shipped by his mother to South America where he becomes a filmmaker, Huberto Naranjo the street urchin turned gangster turned revolutionary, Riad Halabi the loving but melancholy Turk, Mimi the beautiful transexual - and many more. And Allende's descriptive language is at its richest and most satisfying. A wonderful achievement.
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