This is one of those rare books that I can appreciate both on a literary level at the same time as I wallow in the romance and suspense. [Warning: cliche coming] I couldn't put it down! Seriously, you have to read this one - and ignore all her others, Allende appears to be a one book author.
Amazing book! I have read and reread it. Of particular interest to me were the descriptions of Gold Rush era towns from Sacramento to the Foothills. From a historical viewpoint of those towns the descriptions are amazingly accurate. I would and have recommended this book to others.
Engrossing story begins in Chile and ends in California, touches on every-day life in Chile, shipping, prostitutes, the Gold Rush and Chinese herbal medicine. And, it's well written.
This book is so rich w detail, characters, and excitement. The main character is a spirited heroine who really engages you and makes you feel for her and her plight...the characters are all very rich and interesting and the book really teaches you alot about the history of the period California Gold Ruch 1849, and South America, and China in the same period.
A basket ends up on the doorsteps of a well-to-do family in Chili containing a beautiful baby girl of raven hair. The story follows this beauty into her adulthood in a manner not accustomed to the whims of these English aristocrats. Her friendship and identity with the family's servants, love for her adopted mother, her unexpected friendship with a Chinese doctor, and her new love as she becomes of age will lead you on a trip through the realities of the forty-niners quest for the California gold. It incorporates characters described in detail one would find in San Francisco and the gold fields you will treasure and not soon forget. One of those books you will be recommending to your friends and those you chance to meet.