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Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende

Inés of My Soul (2006)

by Isabel Allende

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (64)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (76)
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This is the life story of Ines Suarez, a Spanish woman from a poor background, who became the gobernadora (the female governor) of Chile. She left Spain to find her husband in the New World although she had no love for him. Eventually she discovered that he had died in battle and she was a widow. By this time she was in Cuzco Peru and she encountered Pedro de Valdivia and the two of them fell passionately in love. Valdivia was a trusted military advisor to Franciso Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador who toppled the Incan empire. As a result of his service to Pizarro, Valdivia was a wealthy man but he dreamed of going to Chile and settling that land. Ines and Valdivia convinced Pizarro to let them make the attempt. They were accompanied by some Spanish soldiers, a priest, the pregnant Incan wife of one of the soldiers and many Yanacona Indians. This troupe crossed a barren desert and reached the site of Santiago but the Chilean Indians, the Mapuche, were not about to accept these intruders in their land. Ines was a valuable participant in the travels because of her knowledge of medicine and also her ability to dowse for water. Many years of hardship and fighting followed the settlement of Santiago. Ines and Valdivia were together for 10 years but never married since Valdivia had a wife back in Spain. After Valdivia made a trip to Peru he abandoned Ines who promptly married one of his lieutenants, Rodrigo de Quiroga, with whom she lived happily for 30 years.

That's the bare bones of the story but the details make a fascinating read. Allende had to imagine many of the details because, although Ines Suarez was a real person and did shape the history of Chile, not much is known about her. Perhaps because Allende is Chilean herself, these details ring true. Allende doesn't gloss over the grisly details of the battles with the Mapuche and some may find that off-putting. It was certainly a bloody period of history. As well as an historical story, this is also a love story. Ines was a woman who loved passionately and was loved passionately. She was also spiritual and mystical. Once you read this book I don't think you will ever forget Ines Suarez. I know I won't. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
"You will find, señora, that these conquistadors have no shame. They arrive as beggars, they act like thieves, and then they behave as if they were lords of the world."
These conquistadors from Spain once came to my country, the Philippines, and lived like the lords of the world. The horrendous things happened to Chile were the same things happened to my country: they took advantage of our land & resources, abused our natives, ruined our culture, and imposed their religion. The Indians in their land, however, were different from our natives. Indians fought endlessly unlike the Filipinos who embraced the presence of the conquistadors. I don't know if it was because of inherent hospitality of the Filipinos or the desire to avoid of conflict. As a result, the Spaniards colonized us for more than 300 years.

Inés of My Soul is a fresh perspective to read. I usually read about being colonized because of our history, not from the eyes of the colonizers. Inés Suárez wrote about her love and adventures from Spain to Peru and Chile. Her manuscripts were for her daughter to read. These were mostly ignored by historians for centuries (I think because of her gender).
"Courage is a virtue appreciated in a male but considered a defect in our gender. Bold women are a threat to a world that is badly out of balance, in favor of men. That is why they work so hard to mistreat us and destroy us."
The autobiographical book was woven by intuition of [author:Isabel Allende|2238], meticulously crafted and researched.
"We are off to Chile, Inés of my soul. ." ( )
  phoibee | Apr 23, 2017 |
Okay, I'm gonna confess that I didn't finish this. Maybe it just wasn't the right book for me right now. First, I was listening to the audio and I found the narrator's not very convincing accent kind of annoying, so that didn't help. More importantly, though, it seemed to drag. I was interested in the historical part and the romance just seemed too contrived, too syrupy, "Ines of my soul" oh, please. But for some readers, the romance might be the best part. So I think my review is even more subjective than usual. I wanted to learn about the history, but I wasn't interested in Ines' supposedly deep but actually very banal "philosophical" observations along the lines of "I tried to stop them from beating the slaves so much. Some of my best friends were Indians. And, it's such a pain being a woman, all the guys want you." Sorry to people who loved the book. It just wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
The book is an interesting story of the conquest of Chile but it was impossible for me to like the Spanish characters: it is a shame what they did there. ( )
  LauraM77 | Jun 28, 2016 |
Ines of My Soul – Isabel Allende
4 stars

Inez Suarez, a 16th century conquistadora, played an important role in the Spanish conquest of Chile. Ines of My Soul is the fictional memoir of this amazing woman. Allende gives Inez a voice to tell the story of her marriages, love affairs and adventures. She details the brutality of the wars against the indigenous population, and describes the difficult labor of founding a city in a new land. Inez directs the text of her memoir to her step-daughter. At a certain point in the story she indicates that she is dictating to her daughter. I think this technique gave Inez a very real voice. I felt that I was listening to a conversation or that this very interesting woman was talking directly to me.
Inez has a great deal to say about the history of Chile, but also about the role of women. She does not spare the Spaniards in her descriptions of atrocities committed against the native population and she speaks with respect and admiration of the Mapuches. This may not be a historically accurate viewpoint, but it made her character more palatable. This was my first reading of Allende. I’m looking forward to more.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Allende peppers Inés’ bio with characteristically fragrant details emotional fire-storms, lush foliage, aphrodisiac potions, and many “blazing whirlwinds” of lovemaking that turn a truly extraordinary life story into a forgettable, easy-reading romp.
“Inés is wholly a woman of her day, and Allende does not turn away from the historical record, which has her decapitating indigenous prisoners and hurling their heads over a fortress wall to terrorize their peers as well as saving lives as a gentle-handed healer.”

“Despite its graphic violence, “Ines,” like all of Allende’s novels, drips with color and sensuality. The author spent four years researching the era, incorporating knowledge not just about the history of Chile during the subjugation of its native people by the courageous and cruel Spanish, but such vital details as the kinds of food emigrants ate on the long ocean voyage and their manner of dress.The research pays off in finely detailed scenes.”


» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Juan, AnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liverani, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am Inés Suárez, a townswoman of the loyal city of Santiago de Nueva Extremadura in the kingdom of Chile, writing in the year of Our Lord 1580
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Born into a poor family in Spain, Inés, a seamstress, finds herself condemned to a life of hard work without reward or hope for the future. It is the sixteenth century, the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and when her shiftless husband disappears to the New World, Inés uses the opportunity to search for him as an excuse to flee her stifling homeland and seek adventure. After her treacherous journey takes her to Peru, she learns that her husband has died in battle. Soon she begins a fiery love affair with a man who will change the course of her life: Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and field marshal to the famed Francisco Pizarro.

Valdivia's dream is to succeed where other Spaniards have failed: to become the conquerer of Chile. The natives of Chile are fearsome warriors, and the land is rumored to be barren of gold, but this suits Valdivia, who seeks only honor and glory. Together the lovers Inés Suárez and Pedro de Valdivia will build the new city of Santiago, and they will wage a bloody, ruthless war against the indigenous Chileans—the fierce local Indians led by the chief Michimalonko, and the even fiercer Mapuche from the south. The horrific struggle will change them forever, pulling each of them toward their separate destinies.

Inés of My Soul is a work of breathtaking scope: meticulously researched, it engagingly dramatizes the known events of Inés Suárez's life, crafting them into a novel full of the narrative brilliance and passion readers have come to expect from Isabel Allende.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061161543, Paperback)

In the early years of the conquest of the Americas, Inés Suárez, a seamstress condemned to a life of toil, flees Spain to seek adventure in the New World. As Inés makes her way to Chile, she begins a fiery romance with Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and field marshal to the famed Francisco Pizarro. Together the lovers will build the new city of Santiago, and they will wage war against the indigenous Chileans—a bloody struggle that will change Inés and Valdivia forever, inexorably pulling each of them toward separate destinies.

Inés of My Soul is a work of breathtaking scope that masterfully dramatizes the known events of Inés Suárez's life, crafting them into a novel rich with the narrative brilliance and passion readers have come to expect from Isabel Allende.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A work of historical fiction chronicles the brave deeds and passionate loves of a spirited woman who journeyed to the New World and helped found a nation.

» see all 16 descriptions

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