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In typical Allende fashion, Portrait in Sepia is crammed with love, desire, tragedy, and dark family secrets, all played out against the dramatic backdrop of revolutionary Chile. Our heroine Aurora del Valle's mother is a Chilean-Chinese beauty, while her father is a dissolute scion of the wealthy and powerful del Valle family. At the heart of Aurora's slow, painful re-creation of her childhood towers one of Allende's greatest fictional creations, the heroine's grandmother, Paulina del Valle. An "astute, bewigged Amazon with a gluttonous appetite," Paulina holds both the del Valle family and Allende's novel together as she presides over Aurora's adolescence in a haze of pastries, taffeta, and overweening love.
One of the most interesting aspects of the novel is Allende's decision to turn her heroine into a photographer: "through photography and the written word I try desperately to conquer the transitory nature of my existence, to trap moments before they evanesce, to untangle the confusion of my past." There is little confusion in Allende's elegantly crafted and hugely enjoyable novel. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book kept me interested from the first page to the last, and already I want to read it again!
The flashback, unfortunately, is about as dull as it gets, for instead of creating a story, Allende drones on and on with page after page of narration.
It's a great story, written in beautiful prose, the characters are memorable, the story line believable.
Wonderful saga that continues with some of the same characters from "Daughter of Fortune." Long but well worth the read. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Library Lady
Portrait in Sepia, is as good, if not better, than Daughter of Fortune.
Not as tedious in her elongated descriptions. Read more
It was a unique story but often the histories of the wars being
Fought went on longer than I would have liked.
Isabel Allende has been one of my favorite authors since "House of the Spirits." Although I have read many of her other books, Allende is such a prolific writer that one... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vicki
Excellent book in general, but there is one gaping plot hole that I can't seem to get past. In the prequel Daughter of Fortune, there is a scene where Paulina del Valle is pregnant... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jessica W.
Probably one of the most boring stories I've ever read-- bizarre narrative structure. I waited 150 pages before the backstory ended and the real story began.Published 1 month ago by Ursus
Exception sequel to Daughter of Fortune!! Love both these books. Love anything by Isabel Allende! she is a fabulous storyteller!!Published 7 months ago by s. philo
Once I was hooked on the story told by Isabel Allende!! She one of my favorite authors and find her characters enchanting!Published 9 months ago by M. Massey