Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
Written next to the hospital bedside of her critically ill daughter, the acclaimed author of The House of the Spirit presents the story of her ancestors and youth, reflecting on the challenges and achievements of one family during a turbulent era in Chilean history. Reprint.


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.

Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, c1995
ISBN: 9780060172534
Branch Call Number: B ALLENDE FAMILY
Characteristics: 330 p. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Peden, Margaret Sayers


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May 13, 2017

Unquestionably this book is a loving tribute from a mother to her daughter. It made me reflect on the magnitude of life and the value of having a family when we leave this earthly world.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 27, 2014

Isabel Allende is the Chilean born author of the widely acclaimed, international best seller The House of Spirits. In 1991 her beloved twenty-nine year old daughter became gravely ill, and while she was in a coma from which she never recovered, her mother began to write the story of her family which she addressed to her unconscious daughter. The book is a moving tribute to the power of maternal love as well as an illuminating history of modern Chile which is so closely intertwined with the story of Allende's family.

May 04, 2013

This a heartfelt story that come from personal experience--very moving.

Feb 11, 2013

"Listen, Paula. I am going to tell you a story, so that when you wake up you will not feel so lost." So begins Isabel Allende's heartfelt letter to her comatose daughter Paula. The prose is often beautiful, and there are some poignant moments. However, Allende is the least compelling character in her own story, and the book drags when she focuses the narrative on herself.

May 01, 2012

This book is a "letter" by Allende to her dying daughter over a period of one year, recounting memories. In effect, it is part autobiography. However, it seemed over the top and opportunistic.

Jul 05, 2011

Couldn't put it down!

Oct 24, 2010

by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende wrote this book "Paula" with a broken heart. Paula, her daughter, had just died of a rare illness. Here Isabel Allende shows her real artistic talent, as we witness the author go through the most painful and brutal times in her life. While she weaves her story, we can feel her pain as if it were our own. We stay with her through her journey to the wrenched end which is remarkably beautifully rendered. Despite the sadness of the story, it is not a depressing one; the book does not leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths, instead it gives us courage to comfront our own darkness.

Isabel Allende escribio este libro Paula con el corazón roto. Paula, su hija, había contraído una rara enfermedad que la llevo a la muerte. Aquí Allende nos muestra la gran calidad de su arte y la acompañamos en los momentos más intensos y brutales de su vida. Sentimos su dolor como si fuera el nuestro, mientras ella va tejiendo la historia que nos lleva a un final desgarrador pero hermosamente escrito. A pesar de los sentimientos de tristeza que la agobian, el libro no nos deja un sabor amargo en la boca; más bien, nos alienta a confrotar nuestras negruras con valentia.

Jun 07, 2006

An absolute must-read for any mother or scholar of family relations or loss. Isabel Allende weaves the story of her family's past with the illness and death of her daughter. Heartbreaking, loving, compassionate, and cleansing. This would be a great book to read either before or after House of the Spirits.


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