This is my second Isabel Allende novel and I will certinly be going back for more. It wasn't what I was expecting as I had been led to believe that all of her work was magical realism but this one certainly wasn't, but it was still a great read.
The novel is set in Chile in the 1840's. A young British family bring up their 'adopted' child Eliza into the colonialist culture of the area. Their is much discrepancy about Eliza's parentage and she is even left unsure about her national heritage. Like many children belonging to rich families she is expected to follow all the rules and customs of her class yet she is largely left to be brought up by the sevants in the kitchen. The novel follows Eliza through her childhood till she meets her first love. He promptly leaves her, leaving for the Gold Ruch in California and she follows him, leaving the world of riches for a place of prostitutes, slaves, murder and poverty.
Allende created a novel which caused you to consider human greed, racism and the treatment of woman in a variety of cultures. The novel had some fantastic scenes spanning from England, Chile, California and over to China. Each character was well rounded and believeable. The only thing I would say is that it could have done with being just a little shorter.
If you have read this book feel free to comment or leave a link to your own review.
Chech out Adventures in Readings review of this book here