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Hija De La Fortuna: Novela (Spanish) Paperback – October 1, 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Allende expands her geographical boundaries in this sprawling, engrossing historical novel flavored by four culturesAEnglish, Chilean, Chinese and AmericanAand set during the 1849 California Gold Rush. The alluring tale begins in Valpara!so, Chile, with young Eliza Sommers, who was left as a baby on the doorstep of wealthy British importers Miss Rose Sommers and her prim brother, Jeremy. Now a 16-year-old, and newly pregnant, Eliza decides to follow her lover, fiery clerk Joaqu!n Andieta, when he leaves for California to make his fortune in the gold rush. Enlisting the unlikely aid of Tao Chi'en, a Chinese shipboard cook, she stows away on a ship bound for San Francisco. Tao Chi'en's own storyArichly textured and expansively toldAbegins when he is born into a peasant family and sold into slavery, where it is his good fortune to be trained as a master of acupuncture. Years later, while tending to a sailor in colonial Hong Kong, he is shanghaied and forced into service at sea. During the voyage with Eliza, Tao nurses her through a miscarriage. When they disembark, Eliza is disguised as a boy, and she spends the next four years in male attire so she may travel freely and safely. Eliza's search for Joaqu!n (rumored to have become an outlaw) is disappointing, but through an eye-opening stint as a pianist in a traveling brothel and through her charged friendship with Tao, now a sought-after healer and champion of enslaved Chinese prostitutes, Eliza finds freedom, fulfillment and maturity. Effortlessly weaving in historical background, Allende (House of the Spirits; Paula) evokes in pungent prose the great melting pot of early California and the colorful societies of Valpara!so and Canton. A gallery of secondary characters, developed early on, prove pivotal to the plot. In a book of this scope, the narrative is inevitably top-heavy in spots, and the plot wears thin toward the end, but this is storytelling at its most seductive, a brash historical adventure. Major ad/promo; BOMC dual main selection; 11-city author tour. (Oct.) FYI: This book will also be released in a HarperLibros Spanish edition, Hija del la Fortuna (ISBN 0-06-019492-8).
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this luscious saga, Allende reaches beyond her previous novels (e.g., Eva Luna) in both space and time. In 19th-century Chile, a baby girl is left at the doorstep of Jeremy Sommers, director of the British Import and Export Company, Ltd., and his spinster sister, Rose. Rose raises Eliza to marry well and is understandably nonplussed when as a teenager she falls passionately in love with a poor clerk in the company. Eliza possesses all the feistiness and passion that Rose herself has suppressed, and when her somewhat indifferent lover heads north to San Francisco in search of gold, she follows, pregnant, disguised as a boy, and assisted by Tao Ch'ien, a Chinese doctor forced to work as a cook on a ship captained by John Sommers, brother to Jeremy and Rose. Not surprisingly, Eliza has some trouble locating her lover, but through a host of richly detailed adventures, she does find something more precious: freedom. Obvious and at times sentimental, this is still entertaining reading. For all collections.
-ABarbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Rayo (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0060932767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060932763
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
... es una novela exitante llena de aventuras. Isabel Magicamente nos sumerge en ese fantastico viaje donde cada personaje esta en busca de algo particular que llene sus necesidades: oro, identidad, libertad... Nuevamente Allende nos enbriaga y hace adictos de sus letras... LA RECOMIENDO ASI COMO TODAS SUS DEMAS OBRAS.
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By A Customer on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book. Allende takes us through a fabulous journey through the young eyes of this amazing woman, Eliza Sommers. Eliza is courageous, adventurous and full of life. I found the background on the Gold Rush and the early years of California fascinating. Even though the end leaves you wondering some things, it is parallel to what the book is all about -- the world out there which is unknown to all of us. Beautiful piece of work. I highly recommend it.
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By A Customer on November 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ademas de los personajes fuertes, el enfoque sobre el choque de las culturas y los detalles riquisimos sobre la vida en Chile, China y California, tendria que decir que no vale la pena de leer esta novela. Allende ha escrito y, seguramente, va a seguir escribiendo obras clasicas y inteligentes pero "Hija" debe de estar olvidado. Cuando la autora visito a Seattle para presentar esta novela yo le pregunte por que su obra termino asi--casi sin desarollo del trama. Ella me dijo que si ella hubiera terminado la novela se la convertiria en una mera novela de romance. Temo que "Hija" ya es una mera novela de romance.
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By A Customer on March 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Not one of Allende's best efforts, however I still found the novel interesting to read. Set in Chile, China, and California between 1843 and 1853, it is an interesting mix of historical fiction; a social commentary on the British of the day; a look at prejudices in the USA; a glimpse into the chinese culture; and relationships which have gone awry. Alot of ground to cover in one novel, however Allende's talent for storytelling ties all the elements toghether in an easy to read fashion which make for an enjoyable novel. As always, her strong female characters and matriarchial family structure is present. Hija de la Fortuna is a lighter read than her other novels, and very recommendable.
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Su estilo de escribir es tan hermoso, a veces es como la poesia. Sus personajes siempre son creibles, fascinantes y frecuentemente nos sorprenden. Especificamente este cuento se trata de una familia poco convencional en Chile. Consiste de dos hermanos, una hermana y una hija adoptada. La hija se enamora con un tipo que trabaja por su tio y, cuando el sale de Chile para buscar el oro en California, ella lo sigue. Sus aventuras y dificultades son muchas. Su relacion con un chino y la vida de este hombre, en el pasado en China y en el presente en EEUU, es fascinante. Como en "Casa de Los Espiritus," hay personajes en el libro que son basados en personas que existieron en la realidad. Su vocabulario es enorme y, para una persona como yo que tiene espanol como su segundo idioma, es un desafio a veces. Pero es cierto que vale la pena. Este libro recomiendo 100%.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Isabel Allende ha escrito libros magníficos. Sin duda, nos ha dado unas de las mejores obras de literatura de las últimas décadas. Desafortunadamente, Hija de la fortuna no es una de ellas.

El libro no merece 5 estrellas, como muchos de los reviewers le han dado, pero tampoco vale dos o una estrella. La verdad es que la señora Allende es insuperable cuando describe cosas que conoce bien, como sus dos paises (Chile y Peru), su familia, su vida ..., hasta Inés Suárez, (novia del héroe y conquistador de Chile, Pedro de Valdivia, en Inés del alma mía). Pero no es tan competente cuando trata de presentar una tierra estraña como California, o personajes de culturas muy distintas a la suya, per ejemplo, ingleses y alemanes. Tenemos que ser honestos, las inglesas no son tan ardientes como las que ella describe en las escenas de amor en la primera parte del libro. ......A veces me pregunto si las chilenas son tan ardientes.

Otras maneras en que Hija de la fortuna está menos que perfecto es en: (1) la falta de acción - algunos de los capítulos se podrían describir como simplemente aburridos; (2) la descriptión de personajes y eventos que no son directamente conectados a la historia (aburridos también); (3) la inadecuada descriptión de la búsqueda del novio, Joaquín. Casi parece que, después de salir al barco rumbo a California, Eliza no haga nada concreto para encontrar al amor de su vida, al hombre que casi le dió un hijo.

Siento mucho no estar de acuerdo con los otros reviewers, pero soy yo misma escritora y - como tal - creo que el final sea bueno. Nos deja llenos de dudas y preguntas.
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It's a very adventurous introduction to two countries and different worlds.
What I like the most is that historical background, that shows the different cultures and social stratus, that seem to make so much sense in a country and none in another. It shows how all humans out of their culture are simply that: human beings, basic same needs, thousand ways of satisfying them.
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