Saturday, September 1, 2012

#12 The House of the Spirits

This book was consider as the most notably work of Isabel Allende and I think this book is deserve to be in 1001 books you’ve must read before you die. This book has many plots and twist also the character is so rich yet eccentric that made me forgets for a while that this is a quite thick book.

This story began with Del Valle family most famous daughter, Rosa and Clara. Rosa the eldest sister has an enchanting beauty and often regard as an angel. She has yellow eye, green hair and transparent skin that made her looks like from outer world. The baby of this family, Clara, also consider as an outer world person because her gift (or curse) as clairvoyant. She claimed that she can see ghost, predict the future and also move things even without touched it.

Rosa was engaged with Esteban Trueba Rosa died before she married as Clara predicted. Despite his grief, Esteban decided to rebuild the old family farmland, Tres Maria (Three Maria). The egocentric, harsh and materialistic nature of Esteban made him a successful and arrogant landlord. He treated his farmer as a slave and raped every female teenager surrounding Tres Maria. This action made him a father of many illegitimate children who would cause many pain in his later life. After he married Clara, his life had change and he decided to live in the city and build “the big house on the corner” (a.k.a the house of the spirits). The influence of three women in his life, Clara, his daughter Blanca and his granddaughter Alba made Esteban realized many bad deeds that he had done and finally changed him to become more kind-hearted person.

If I can conclude this family saga was about how legitimate and illegitimate children from Esteban Trueba interact, mainly this relationship was full of hatred and revenge. Things that Esteban did in the past finally come back to him but through his daughter and granddaughter. This book was categorized as magic realism book, genre of fiction in which magical elements blend with the real world (Wikipedia). In this book the most prominent magical elements includes Rosa beauty features and Clara’s habit to communicate with spirits.

I think this book is also a historical fiction because the coup in some South America country was very similar with what happening in Chile. This book also consider as Isabel Allende’s story of life because her uncle, Salvador Allende was a socialist president of Chile who assassinated in a military coup led by General Augusta Pinochet, this story similar with “the candidate” in her story that finally became first socialist president in that country. Maybe it’s the recipe how Isabel could bring the same intense of the terror into this novel. I have to say that this story is a must read book. Enjoy it!


  1. 4 bintang dari aku, bukunya memang bagus :)

  2. Sounds very dark, a lot of hatred. Masuk thriller ya?