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Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende

Of Love and Shadows (1984)

by Isabel Allende

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (21)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All (32)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
The book centers around the families and lives of Irene and Francisco. Their relationship was interesting, the story the followed through the book was also interesting, but overall this book was not as strong as other Allende works. The political intrigue was well thought out, I enjoyed the idea of the disappeared people coming to light. I don't think the miracles of Evangelina was particularly important, and her relationship with her adoptive brother was jarring and didn't serve a plot purpose at all. ( )
  SadieRuin | Jul 21, 2017 |
I didn't find this book at all appealing, despite the passionate love story underlying it all. ( )
  siri51 | Nov 14, 2016 |
Imagine the horror of having your teenage daughter being roughly taken from your home by police and never seeing her again. That is just what Isabel Allende has imagined and written about in this book. Set in a South American country that is never called Chile this tale of desapercidos is fiction but must be based upon fact as the world now knows.

Irene Beltran was a journalist with a women's magazine engaged to a military man. She came from an upper class family and had unthinkingly gone about her business unperturbed by the military takeover of the government. Into her life comes Francisco Leal, an out of work psychologist who has decided to earn a living as a photographer. Working together Irene and Francisco visit the Ranquileo home in the country where the daughter, Evangelina, is reputed to work miracles during fits that occur once a day at noon. While there they witness a visit by the local police during which the police commander is humiliated when slight, young Evangelina picks him up bodily and throws him out of the house. When Irene and Francisco pay a return visit to the Ranquileos they learn that Evangelina was arrested by the police and has not returned home. The police commander says that Evangelina was released the morning after her arrest but no trace can be found of her. As Irene and Francisco continue to investigate they fall in love and when their search leads them to an abandoned mine the horror they find there is somewhat assuaged by making love for the first time. Their crusade to bring notice to the bodies hidden in the mine makes them dangerous to the military junta that governs the country. Escape to a democracy is their only chance to remain alive.

Even though Allende doesn't name Chile it is obvious that is the locale. Published in 1987 when the military government of Augusto Pinochet was still in power this book must have been dangerous for Allende. Of course, she was already on the government's list of wanted individuals and was living in exile but that would not have protected her if the Chilean government wanted to silence her. The horrific nature of the story is counterbalanced by lovely descriptions of the country and the love affair between Irene and Francisco. In fact, the description of the love scene between the two just after they discover the bodies in the mine is one of the best I have ever read. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote gypsysmom | Oct 27, 2016 |
I thought Isabel Allende's novel "Of Love and Shadows" was a good book, but not a great one. I ended up disappointed because my expectations were so high for this novel.

The story itself is interesting. It focuses on Irene and Francisco, a journalist and a photographer, who fall in love, but that's besides the point really. It's about the impact of a corrupt military on several families and the couple's documentation of it.

The plot itself was interesting enough, but the execution wasn't the greatest. Allende kind of glosses over some things to move onto the next part of the story. It seemed a bit too "surface" if that makes any sense. Overall, it was an okay book but it isn't the best example of Allende's work. ( )
  amerynth | Oct 18, 2016 |
This is a book in the 1001 book to read before you die list. I lasted 50 pages and just had to stop. I'm sorry it just confused the heck out of me bouncing back and forth between families. I have no idea how one family was connected to the other two or why I needed to know their whole history. Very very boring and I could not see myself reading the rest of the book. Not my cup o' tea.
  booklover3258 | Sep 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This is a novel about institutional violence, of the sort perpetrated by authoritarian states; it is about human rights and their loss, and the difficulty of documenting that loss, so as to move the collective conscience of the world.

Allende has married the world of magic and political evil most credibly.

Isabel Allende is a writer of deep conviction, but she knows that in the end it is people, not issues, who matter most. The people in Of Love and Shadows are so real, their triumphs and defeats are so faithful to the truth of human existence, that we see the world in miniature. This is precisely what fiction should do.


» Add other authors (40 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Allende, Isabelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beyer, NoralyPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grieken, Roderik vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juan, AnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klatser, GinnyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morino, AngeloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Only love with its science makes us so innocent.
 - Violeta Parra
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Dit is het verhaal van een vrouw en een man die elkaar onmetelijk lief hadden en zo konden ontsnappen aan de alledaagsheid van het bestaan. Ik heb het in mijn geheugen gegrift en gekoesterd, zodat de tijd het niet zou uitwissen en pas nu, in de sprakeloze nachten van deze plaats, kan ik het eindelijk vertellen. Dat doe ik voor hen en voor anderen die mij hun levensgeschiedenissen hebben toevertrouwd en tegen mij zeiden: hier, schrijf op, opdat ze niet vervliegen in de tijd. - I.A.
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The first sunny day of spring evaporated the dampness that had accumulated in the soil through the winter months, and warmed the fragile bones of old people who now could stroll the gentle orthopedic paths of the garden.
"This is the story of a woman and a man who loved one another so deeply that they saved themselves from a banal existence. I have carried it in my memory, guarding it carefully so it would not be eroded by time, and it is only now, in the silent nights of this place, that I can finally tell it. I do it for them, and for others who have confided their lives to me, saying: Here, write it, or it will be erased by the wind."
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Book description
„Tai istorija apie moterį ir vyrą, kurie be atodairos mylėjo vienas kitą ir taip gelbėjosi nuo tuščios būties. Laikiau ją savo atmintyje, saugojau, kad laikas neišdildytų, ir tik dabar, būdama čia, tyliomis naktimis jau galiu ją papasakoti. Padarysiu tai dėl jų ir dėl kitų, kurie patikėjo man savo gyvenimo paslaptį sakydami: imk, rašyk, kad jos neišpustytų vėjas.“ Tie gražūs žodžiai leidžia suprasti knygą, kurioje vaizduotė ir tikrovė plaukia lygia greta. „Apie meilę ir šešėlius“, antrasis Isabelės Allendės romanas, apdainuoja meilę ir viltį. Pagrįstas tikrais faktais, kuriuos meistriška autorės plunksna pavertė nepamirštamu romanu, tas aistringas pasakojimas buvo ekranizuotas, pagal jį pastatytas didelio pasisekimo pasaulyje sulaukęs filmas, kuriame vaidina Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Connely ir Stefanija Sandrelli.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553383833, Paperback)

Beautiful and headstrong, Irene Beltrán works as a magazine journalist—a profession that belies her privileged upbringing and her engagement to an army captain. Her investigative partner is photographer Francisco Leal, the son of impoverished Spanish Marxist émigrés. Together, they form an unlikely but inseparable team—and Francisco quickly falls in love with the fierce and loyal Irene. When an assignment leads them to a young girl whom locals believe to possess miraculous powers, they uncover an unspeakable crime perpetrated by an oppressive regime. Determined to reveal the truth in a nation overrun by terror and violence, each will risk everything to find justice—and, ultimately, to embrace the passion and fervor that binds them.

Profoundly moving and ultimately uplifting, Of Love and Shadows is a tale of romance, bravery, and tragedy, set against the indelible backdrop of a country ruled with an iron fist—and peopled with those who dare to challenge it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:17 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Isabel Allende transports us to a Latin American country in the grip of a military dictatorship, where Irene Beltran, an upper-class journalist, and Francisco Leal, photographer son of a Marxist professor, together discover a hideous crime. They also discover how far they dare go in search of the truth in a nation of terror, and how very much they risk."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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