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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.
The Chilean-Peruvian war were unfamiliar. The ethnic conflicts of the period, especially in California, were described well by the characters. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kathleen R. Coates
An excellent account of life at the time. Characters developed beautifully. Easy to identify with their emotions and why they developed and reacted the way that they did. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Jackie Botha
Hard to get into but perseverance led me to appreciate the book!bso many characters to keep track ofPublished 19 days ago by Marcia E. Mieritz
Loved this book! Illustrates the richness of life, through beautiful descriptions, interesting characters, and adventure!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer