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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (November 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061161535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061161537
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Only months after the inauguration of Chile's first female president, Allende recounts in her usual sweeping style the grand tale of Doña Inés Suárez (1507– 1580), arguably the country's founding mother. Writing in the year of her death, Inés 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, Inés 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. Inés 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. Inés 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

If Inés of My Soul isn't among Isabel Allende's best novels, it still tells a remarkable, ambitious, and heretofore untold story about one of the first female conquistadors of the New World. Allende finds so many surreal subplots in Inés's own story that the author's imagination, rather than magical realism, prevails in her attempt to recreate the 16th-century Americas. All aspects of the story entertain and educate. At the same time, the detractors have some complaints: Allende embarks on too many historical detours; she romanticizes the Spanish conquistadors; she takes a one-sided view of the native Chileans; and, in an attempt to appeal to fans of different genres, she creates a lightweight story from a very serious topic.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


More About the Author

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. She has also written a collection of stories; three memoirs, including My Invented Country and Paula; 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.

My thoughts on Kindle en Español:

"El impacto de los libros electrónicos es formidable y está remeciendo a la industria del libro tanto como a los lectores. Aunque todavía la idea es relativamente nueva en español, ya se ha extendido en otras lenguas tan dramáticamente, que muchos autores nuevos publican en versión digital, saltándose a las editoriales. Confieso que soy adicta a mis Kindle y mi IPad, donde leo con letra grande y clara, en una pantalla liviana. Antes viajaba con una maleta de libros, ahora llevo mi biblioteca en la cartera y puedo adquirir nuevos libros en cualquier parte del mundo en pocos segundos. Dicen que los jóvenes le tienen miedo al papel y no tienen el hábito de leer - lo cual no es totalmente cierto - pero ahora pueden leer en sus pantallas. También dicen que la ficción desaparecerá, pero eso jamás ocurrirá, porque la humanidad necesita historias tanto como necesita oxígeno. Tal vez en el futuro el libro, ese compañero maravilloso, será un objeto de coleccionistas y de bibliotecas y nosotros, simples mortales, leeremos en pantallas. Pero seguiremos leyendo, de eso no tengo dudas." Isabel Allende

Customer Reviews

It's a passionate, perpetual love story.
D. Ferguson
I don't know how much historical accuracy there is to his character, but if it's close to correct, it's one of the most amazing stories ever.
Ed White
Isabel Allende is a great historical fiction writer, she truly is a master at her work, great writing, great story.
Richard J. Polney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Based almost entirely on the life of Ines Suarez who lived from 1507 to 1580, Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende is a lyrically written story of passion, ruthless exploration, rugged courage and love in the 16th century. Allende is one of the few authors that are wonderfully decriptive writers who have the ability to write beautiful and flowing prose and make the reader feel as if they're witnessing and experiencing a scene rather than just reading about it.

Poor and nearly destitute, Ines has a rough life in Spain. Alone because her husband has left to make his fortune in the new world she eventually sets out to search for him. When she arrives Ines learns he has been killed. Determined to make a new life for herself Ines decides to remain in the new colony. She eventually falls under the spell of Don Pedro de Valdivia, field marshal of Francisco Pizarro. Together they undertake the founding of the country of Chile.

Richly textured with wonderfully developed historical characters, Allende has written another masterpiece. For those who have their appetites wetted for further reading on this period of history, Allende includes a helpful bibliography that she freely admits is incomplete. I wonder though how many of these titles will be available in English. I also suspect that many of them are rare and may be difficult to locate.

You'll want to read Ines of My Soul slowly because there isn't much out there of its equal. Savor it.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on November 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Inés of My Soul, Isabel Allende has written her finest novel, and I read it in one sitting, so impressed by it and so drawn into it was I. The lushness of her prose and her descriptive abilities have never been used in quite this way, and as Allende describes the virginal South American wilds, I was left in amazement at her accomplishment. I have always admired Allende as a writer, but I have been frustrated in the past at what I have seen as her unnecessary and detracting forays into the supernatural, which has intruded (as in House of the Spirits) into an otherwise rational plot. Nothing precisely like that comes to pass in this book, and insofar as it does, it seems less an affront in its setting here than it had at other times, and that also impressed me.

Inés of My Soul tells the story of a real life sixteenth-century figure, the bold and enterprising survivor, Doña Inés Suárez, who, along with her lover, the dashing Don Pedro de Valdivia, founds the great city of Santiago, Chile. Writing a remembrance from the vantage point of extreme old age (seventy years and near death) Doña Inés tells of growing up in Spain, then of course the world's most powerful and wealthy nation, and also describes to the reader her eventual voyage to Peru, in search of her husband, Juan, who had traveled to the New World before his wife, as one of Pizarro's conquistadors. Upon learning that her husband has died in battle (and finding that the man was not all she had once thought him to be) Doña Inés, left there in Peru with initially limited options, eventually is swept away by a dashing warrior and lover named Don Pedro de Valdivia.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Curmudgea on December 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although Allende deserves credit for resisting any impulse to impose modern sensibilities on her sixteenth-century protagonist, she doesn't succeed in creating in Ines a character I could understand or relate to. I realize Ines was a creature of her times, but many human feelings are universal across eras and cultures, and I needed help from the author to connect with Ines' dogged love for Juan (which seemed somewhat shallow), her religiosity, and her tolerance of -- and even participation in -- extreme cruelty and violence. The first-person narrative gives us the impression that she is a highly intelligent person, but it does not reflect a fully dimensional character. There is a tantalizing reference to her being intellectually mentored by a priest, but details of that relationship aren't there. I read through the novel mostly because it is a highly accessible narrative of the historical events as they probably occurred. It may be the enticement I needed to tackle Bernal Diaz' or William Prescott's histories of the conquest of Mexico and Peru. However, for a first-time Allende reader, who wants an un-put-downable historical novel I recomnmend instead her excellent Daughter of Fortune.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kcolorado on May 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed other novel by Isabel Allende and found this one interesting on several different levels. Her writing is always evocative and unfailingly filled with sly references to characters foibles and shortcomings.

This novel had a touching frame of reference: the narrator is a 70 year old woman dictating her memoirs to a daughter. Yet while the book is an enthralling historical romance it is also filled with disturbing violence. She includes some bibliographic references but it is unclear what is fact and what is the author's invention. I sensed parallels with the uneasy state of the world today in the depiction of torture and the brutal treatment of prisoners It certainly brought attention to the central issue that the colonization of Chile was a tragedy to the Indians and attained at the cost of enormous bloodshed.

Is the book successful? The central character is complex but hard to connect with. Her courage is exemplary yet as the matriarch of a country she fails in several key ways to inspire us.
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