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"You have English blood, like us," Miss Rose assured Eliza when she was old enough to understand. "Only someone from the British colony would have thought to leave you in a basket on the doorstep of the British Import and Export Company, Limited. I am sure they knew how good-hearted my brother Jeremy is, and felt sure he would take you in. In those days I was longing to have a child, and you fell into my arms, sent by God to be brought up in the solid principles of the Protestant faith and the English language."The family servant, Mama Fresia, has a different point of view, however: "You, English? Don't get any ideas, child. You have Indian hair, like mine." And certainly Eliza's almost mystical ability to recall all the events of her life would seem to stem more from the Indian than the Protestant side.
As Eliza grows up, she becomes less tractable, and when she falls in love with Joachin Andieta, a clerk in Jeremy's firm, her adoptive family is horrified. They are even more so when a now-pregnant Eliza follows her lover to California where he has gone to make his fortune in the 1849 gold rush. Along the way Eliza meets Tao Chi'en, a Chinese doctor who saves her life and becomes her closest friend. What starts out as a search for a lost love becomes, over time, the discovery of self; and by the time Eliza finally catches up with the elusive Joachin, she is no longer sure she still wants what she once wished for. Allende peoples her novel with a host of colorful secondary characters. She even takes the narrative as far afield as China, providing an intimate portrait of Tao Chi'en's past before returning to 19th-century San Francisco, where he and Eliza eventually fetch up. Readers with a taste for the epic, the picaresque, and romance that is satisfyingly complex will find them all in Daughter of Fortune. --Margaret Prior --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I highly recommend this book, and am eager to read more by Allende.
There were too many loose ends and it felt like she just rushed to finish the book rather than giving it a satisfying finish.
Her characters are absolutely superb - even the minor players are rich in detail and give wonderful depth to the story.
Read this one for book club. It was my first Allende novel. Loved the characters and the setting(s). Read morePublished 1 day ago by emoney
At first, I found the book rather boring. It wasn't until the second part that it really picked up for me, and boy, did it! Read morePublished 9 days ago by Athalia Stoneback
I have read many historical novels on the Holocaust or the pioneers in America’s West, but Allende’s teen/adult novel starts in a place and time that is rarely in the limelight. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Kym Mellsop
First--I had to go out and buy a copy, as the copy I had paid for through Amazon never arrived and I needed it for my book club. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Virginia M.
I was swayed by the glowing reviews on the cover and Oprah's recommendation. I was hoping for an exciting historical saga with plot twists and good character development. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Carrie McCluskey
I like more action but the historical part was very interesting. Nice weaving together of people who came from many countries to settle San Francisco.Published 29 days ago by Karla M. Jay
On the Plus Side:
-A marvelous literary reconstruction of diverse mid-nineteenth century locales and peoples - Valparaiso, Chile - The City of London - southern China -... Read more
Beautifully written! Allende is a master story teller! She weaves a story of love and obsession, while creating fascinating characters!Published 1 month ago by Susan Sloan
I recommend it! It's A good read, it kept me coming back for more! Can't wait to see what happens next!Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Soderberg