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Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
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Eva Luna (original 1987; edition 1989)

by Isabel Allende

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3,266321,689 (3.77)105
Member:hemlokgang
Title:Eva Luna
Authors:Isabel Allende
Info:Bantam (1989), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Short Stories, Latin/Hispanic, USA

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Eva Luna by Isabel Allende (1987)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I tend to read books that are mainly realistic fiction, but this book just had a bit too much magical realism for me. Not to mention that I also dislike Hispanic literature. I'm not saying this is a poor book in the slightest; Allende's writing style is vivid and flowing. It just wasn't the book for me. ( )
  juliamarinaro | Aug 19, 2014 |
Eva Luna tells stories which enchant people. This is the story of her improbable life beginning as the product of a red-haired housekeeper named Consuelo and an Indian dieing of a snakebite.

As we follow our narrator through her life, we meet colorful characters who provide fodder for Eva's stories, which eventually become scripts for telenovellas. There's Huberto Naranjo, street urchin grown to lead the revolution. Mimi, deeply unhappy man teaching Italian who becomes a beautiful and admired woman in all but genitalia. And so many more equally colorful, deeply human characters.

Isabel Allende was my entree into the world of magical-realism, a genre I have come to adore. And while Eva Luna is not as magical as The House of the Spirits, it still weaves a spell of improbabilities accepted as normal. ( )
  AuntieClio | Jun 8, 2014 |
The plot of this book was so slow to come about. I was really disappointed in how slow the purpose of the book moved, but really enjoyed the poetic narration. This book was vivid and very inciting to the senses, but lacked in substantial plot until the very end. I was a love story and a political piece, but neither were apparent at all until the last 80 pages or so. In our book club, we talked about how each character didn't really have much depth. The character was what their personality flaws made them out to be, and nothing more. The Turk was a nice man who was constantly making up for his harelip by being overly generous and self-pardoning. The only character that seemed to be able to have any real personality despite their characteristic flaw was Mimi. The strings of the bits of life that Eva gathered through the first 150 pages of the book finally wove together for the finale, but a lot of the back story could have been shortened to heighten the depth and drama of the really center of the book. This being said I did really enjoy the book as beautiful words strung together in a very memoir-esque novel. I'd give it 2.5 stars. It picked up a lot very late in the book and I became very interested in Eva as a person, eager to see how these chance meetings and various characters would shape her life. Not what I was expecting, but still an interesting book. ( )
  therealkat | Jan 29, 2013 |
I had been wanting to read some South american literature for awhile. Allende posed an excellent option.
Eva Luna is a modern day Scheherzade, her stories weave into her life and her people in beautiful moments. I love the part when the young Eva keeps looking at a picture of the sea all afternoon. The characters and their relations are beautiful, you can see the frailties of each of them easily, I don't see many authors who do this, expose every weakness of their characters. Political Power is also a theme well explored. ( )
  zasmine | Mar 5, 2012 |
Eva Luna is a young girl in Chile who has grown up without many boundaries beyond survival. Her conception was by chance and her father was never in her life, her mother died young, and from then on Eva bounces among employers and whoever will give her shelter, learning life on the fly as a matter of necessity. But as she becomes caught in the machinations of guerrilla warfare, her personality and sense of self solidifies in response to the determination and purpose of the fighters.

Allende does better atmospheric writing than plot-driven, as there were points at which I felt closer to the setting of the town and its cadence than I did to Eva herself. This novel has been described as picaresque, but I think it is better understood as its inverse: rather than setting and situation being tools to showcase character development, Eva's development seems to showcase her settings and cultural situation - or at least, that is how I was engaged by the book. Interesting way to tell a story, but I felt it wasn't wholly successful with so little story to have been told. ( )
  the_awesome_opossum | Sep 3, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Angelo MorinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Then he said to Scheherazade: 'Sister, for the sake of Allah, tell us a story that will help pass the night ...'

     --A Thousand and One Tales of the Arabian Nights
Dedication
TO MY MOTHER,
who gave me a lot of stories
First words
My name is Eva, which means 'life', according to a book of names my mother consulted.
Quotations
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
La muerte no existe, la gente sólo muere cuando la olvidan; si puedes recordarme, siempre estaré contigo
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553280589, Mass Market Paperback)

An exotic dance that beguiles and entices... The enchanted and enchanting account of a  contemporary Scheherazade, a wide-eyed American  teller-of-tales who triumphs over harsh reality  through the creative power of her own imagination...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:52 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Born in the back room of the mansion where her mother toils, and herself in service from an early age, the enchanting and ever-enchanted Eva Luna escapes oppression through story telling. Rolf Carle flees Germany for South America, and ultimately works as a documentary film maker, to escape childhood memories of burying the concentration camp dead.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141045558, 0241951658

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