Great book. It is a sad story (the authour's memoir of her daughter's long convalescence and eventual passing, so it took me a little while to get into it at first, but it is also a really beautiful story, really worth reading.
I'm an Isabel Allende fan, so of course I enjoyed the writing, but I found this very personal book not only moving - as one would expect in a book that's a tribute to a deceased daughter - but also just a purely fascinating family story.
Not the usual Allende fiction. This is a true story: of loosing her daughter Paula to a rare disease. Get lots of tissues.... it is a heart breaker....
A stunning memoir, excruciatingly honest and readable, that reads much like a novel of intrigue. Paula is Isabel's Allenda's daughter, who lay in a coma as the author told her story. Extremely beautiful and heart-rending.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Paula is a soul-baring memoir, which, like a novel of suspense, one reads without drawing a breath. The point of departure for these moving pages is a tragic personal experience. In December 1991, Isabel Allende's daughter, Paula, became gravely ill and shortly thereafter fell into a coma. During months in the hospital, the author began to write the story of her family for her unconscious daughter. In the telling, bizarre ancestors appear before our eyes; we hear both delightful and bitter childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years, the most intimate secrets passed along in whispers. Chile, Allende's native land, comes alive as well, with the turbulent history of the military coup of 1973, the ensuing dictatorship, and her family's years of exile. As an exorcism of death, in these pages Isabel Allende explores the past and questions the gods.
I really liked this book. It's been a while since I've read it, but any mother will be able to relate because noone is supposed to outlive their children. I enjoyed the biographical parts into Isabel Allende's past a lot, too.
Sweet memoir of Allende's relationship with her daughter - and telling of her own life story. If you like her other books you HAVE to read this one - it brings her stories together in a touching way.
A story within a story written by one of the very best story tellers I have read. Isabel Allended paints very clear word pictures.
As a mother who is very close with her daughter, I found this difficult to read. Wasn't able to finish this book.
Her daughter has a rare disease that changes the lives of the entire family. The author devotes time, energy and whatever resources she has to help Paula conquer this malady. As the months pass, the author writes her thoughts about life, Paula and other members of her family to share with her daughter. In addition, she jots down much about herself, what she did and why. The book reveals much about herself and what is important to her. This book is as much about the author as about her gravely ill daughter. I often felt that I was by Paula's bed watching her struggle between life and death. This was not an easy read for me. I found that I needed time to process and understand it so I would turn to fiction to allow me to think internally about the messages within this novel. I found its depth helped me understand some of the illnesses in my own family as I watch members cope with their own health problems and issues. It's a most revealing read.
It made me realize how much recent history I know nothing about because I was too young to understand when it was happening and it was too recent to be taught about at school. (Pinochet assumed power the year I was born.) I'm glad I read it because the language was beautiful and the stages and stories of her life feel like an adventure. I worry that she would be offended if I called it a "magical biography" but I don't know what other term to use. It seems perfectly reasonable that she communicates with the dead while I'm reading her story but I'm left a little bemused by it when I return to my rational US life. The epilogue moved me to tears.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!!!
This is truly a soul-baring memoir that seizes the reader like a novel of suspense. When Isabel Allende's daughter, Paula, became gravely ill and fell into a coma, the author began to write the story of her family for her unconscious child. In the telling, bizarre ancestors appear before our eyes; we hear both delightful and bitter childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years, the most intimate secrets passed along in whispers. This is a powerful autobiography whose straightforward acceptance of the magical and spiritual worlds will remind readers of her first book, "The House of the Spirits."
Paula is a soul-baring memoir that seizes the reader like a novel of suspense. When Isabelle Allende's novel became gravely ill and fell into a coma, the author begins to write the story of her family for her unconscious child.
A wonderfully touching story by an excellent author.
A soul-baring memoir that seizes the reader. When Isabel Allende's daughter Paula becomes deathly ill and falls into a coma, Allende begins to write the story of her family for her unconscious child. Great prose and story.
With an enchanting blend of magical realism, politics, and romance reminiscent of her classic bestseller The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende presents a soul-baring memoir that seizes the reader like a novel of suspense.
Written for her daughter Paula when she became ill and slipped into a coma, Paula is the colorful story of Allende's life -- from her early years in her native Chile, through the turbulent military coup of 1973, to the subsequent dictatorship and her family's years of exile. In the telling, bizarre ancestors reveal themselves, delightful and bitter childhood memories surface, enthralling anecdotes of youthful years are narrated and intimate secrets are softly whispered.
In an exorcism of death and a celebration of life, Isabel Allende explores the past, questions the gods, and creates a magical book that carries the reader from tears to laughter, from terror to sensuality to wisdom. In Paula, readers will come to understand that the miraculous world of her novels is the world Isabel Allende inhabits -- it is her enchanted reality.