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Eva Luna (1987)

by Isabel Allende

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,061532,059 (3.79)132
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...From the Paperback edition.
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» See also 132 mentions

English (39)  Spanish (5)  Italian (4)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
As I read this book, I continued to marvel at the beautiful, lyrical quality of the writing. The story is captivating and full of characters that enrich the story.. This book is a testament to my opinion that Isabel Allende is one of the best author's of our times. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
I finally got around to reading this beautifully crafted "magical realism" story about a South American family. Using the alternating narration -- a macho male viewpoint, an omniscient unknown, and a female (don't want to spoil it!) -- allowed the author to cleverly portray a brutal "man's world" and celebrate the way courageous, compassionate women support a nation in its shadows. While the violent scenes are hard to take, they are based on historical incidents of inhumanity to one's own compatriots. Yet amid all the ugliness and horror, love, passion, art, kindness and forgiveness can still grow. Good read! ( )
  MMKY | Jul 3, 2020 |
Synopsis: Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant and a snake-bitten gardener—born poor, orphaned at an early age, and working as a servant. Eva is a naturally gifted and imaginative storyteller who meets people from all stations and walks of life. Though she has no wealth, she trades her stories like currency with people who are kind to her. In this novel, she shares the story of her own life and introduces readers to a diverse and eccentric cast of characters including the Lebanese émigré who befriends her and takes her in; her unfortunate godmother, whose brain is addled by rum and who believes in all the Catholic saints and a few of her own invention; a street urchin who grows into a petty criminal and, later, a leader in the guerrilla struggle; a celebrated transsexual entertainer who instructs her in the ways of the adult world; and a young refugee whose flight from postwar Europe will prove crucial to Eva's fate.

I admit I'm not usually a fan of Isabel Allende but I did enjoy this novel more than I expected. Some chapters were very funny, but several were filled with the political machinations of the government and were very tedious. However, my goal was to learn more about Chile which I did accomplish, and I enjoyed learning about the country through Eva Luna's eyes. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Eva Luna - Allende
Audio performance by Cynthia Farrell and Timothy Pabon
4 stars

This book wasn’t so much a character study as a study of characters. It’s like watching a parade of colorful personalities passing by, one float after another, with the occasional marching band and juggling clown running along beside them.

Eva Luna is an unusual girl growing up in an unnamed South American country. Her unconventional birth is followed by a haphazard life. Her experiences are a multicultural cross section of a troubled country as she encounters people from all walks of life. It reminded me of Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children although it was, fortunately, much less frenetic. The book is structured episodically, almost like a collection of connected short stories. Although there are many likable male characters, there’s a definite feminist slant in the storytelling. Eva eventually takes control of her own life. It’s a relief when she finally refuses to cede control to any man. I did enjoy the book, but it wasn’t quite as good as House of the Spirits. ( )
  msjudy | Jun 30, 2020 |
"This woman who was so down to earth and practical in all other aspects of life sublimated her childhood passion and lived it tragically. She fed it with fantasies, idealized it, savagely defended it, stripped it of its prosaic truth, and turned it into the kind of love one found in novels."

This book undoubtedly has a lot of good qualities. The prose is charming, the family saga enchanting, and as long as the politics was simmering beneath the surface it was intriguing (if often offputting for the modern reader). Still, I didn't enjoy more than small snippets, and found myself skimming... The story is told in a disjointed way, skipping between third person, third person limited, and first person. It's also repetitive, often telling the large sweeps of a particular story, then turning elsewhere, then going back and explaining in detail. It's just too unwieldy for it's own good, and once the military coup happens it shifts from a family portrait to a lecture on fascism. And I just can't with Esteban Trueba. ( )
  systemfailure | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Angelo MorinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juan, AnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mora, ElsaCover artistsecondary 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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Average: (3.79)
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141045558, 0241951658

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