A wonderful book, intelligently written, about the lives and secrets of a nineteenth century family. It takes you from San Francisco's Chinatown, to the turmoli of political unrest and civil war in Chile.
Great book that slowly unravels childhood mysteries, both good and bad, in nineteenth century San Francisco where Chilean, British, and Chinese backgrounds comingle in the protaganist's family history.
This historical novel by acclaimed author Isabel Allende is a continuation of the late 19th century tale begun in 'Daughter of Fortune." A novel of memory and family secrets; a young woman raised in privilege by an ambitious grandmother, but bedeviled by nightmares from her earliest childhood, of which she has no memory.
I loved this book. It is a continuation of a story that begins in Allende's "Daughter of Fortune". (Although each can be read separately)
Great story that takes you around the world in travel and adventure.
The book follows Aurora del Valle throughout her life, mostly focusing on her and her grandmother Paulina's many varied experiences. Humorous and insightful you will want to read on to discover all of the secrets woven into the story. Story is set in the past and focuses geographically on Chile and San Francisco.
I enjoyed the book very much ,though one graphic sex scene was not to my liking. I think she could have made a point of what happened without detailing the act. Otherwise it was very interesting since I didn't know much about Chile and its history,so I liked it. I'm not sure if I would recommend it to younger readers.
I realized about halfway through this book that I'd read it before. I thought it was a third book in a series when really it was the second. I thought the beginning seemed so familiar because maybe it was overlapping some of the same story from the second book. Finally I got to a point where it was just too familiar. While I basically enjoyed the read, it wasn't great enough to stick in my memory the first time, warranting only 3 stars.
PORTRAIT IN SEPIA was the August 2013 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.
Aurora del Valle's narrative was as dull as a portrait in sepia is colorless.
This is my second novel by Isabel Allende. I attempted to read DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE and gave up on it - the writing style just wasn't for me. And the same is true for this quasi-sequel. The first few pages were all about a bed being shipped from Florence!
I found the narrative dull, rambling and completely disengaging for me. I could not find any interest in following Aurora's life story. It was much too bland and flavorlessly told. DNF.
In 19th century Chile, Aurora del Valle suffers a brutal trauma that erases all recollections of the first five years of her life. Raised by her regal grandmother Paulina del Valle, Aurora grows up in a priviledged environment, but is tormented by horrible nightmares. When she is forced to recognize her betrayal at the hands of the man she loves, and to cope with the resulting solitude, she explores the mystery of her past.