Eva Luna
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Eva Luna

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  18,742 ratings  ·  576 reviews
An exotic dance that beguiles and entices... The enchanted and enchanting account of acontemporary Scheherazade, a wide-eyed Americanteller-of-tales who triumphs over harsh realitythrough the creative power of her own imagination......more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1987)
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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe House of the Spirits by Isabel AllendeLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
Favorite Magical Realist Novels
20th out of 654 books — 3,245 voters
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe House of the Spirits by Isabel AllendeLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Latina/Latino Fiction
52nd out of 402 books — 669 voters


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Audrey
Jul 24, 2007 Audrey rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Narcissists
Perhaps it is merely a reflection of my feebleness as a reader that I assume the basic conceit of any first person novel is for the author to be the narrator, more or less. In my defense, this book is dedicated to Allende's mother. And the story itself is about a girl who loses her mother and loves her mother deeply and has all kinds of wooooonderful adventures, only to discover writing and have even more maaaaaaagical adventures, and become highly successful, and be pursued by a general and als...more
Josie
I found that reading this book was a bit like attending a storytellers' cocktail party, at which the hostess (the author) has got drunk and decided to rapidly parade every unusual and eccentric character she could possibly imagine before the gathering, in order to impress her friends.

A host of unusual tales tumble out of this book, like so many magpie-gathered jewels that had been crammed into a box. Eva Luna hits us with one bizzare scenario after another, in rapid succession. Whilst an amazing...more
Jennifer
It is hard for me to recapture the innocence I once had with books, where the words were so real it was like being in a super reality. Age, a better understanding of the world, and my new education to psychotherapy has made literature more understandable and a little less mystical. But Allende gets me pretty close. The psychological lense of me understands Eva Luna's storytelling as therapeutic tool, her retelling of a traumatic past with newly imagined happiness makes the present palatable and...more
Zoë
This is the first book by Isabel Allende that I've read and I can totally see myself getting addicted to her writing...That, and my mother has sent me about 10 of her books to read here in Malaysia. But I stayed up all night last night just to finish the last half of the book, and that usually means that I really like it. The story is about two people who fall in love, but the story is about thier lives before they meet. The story is also about the social and political situation in the annoymou...more
mai ahmd
هذه الرواية هي الرواية الثالثة التي كتبتها الروائية العظيمة إيزابيل وقد اختلف أسلوب إيزابيل في هذه الرواية عن رائعتها التاريخية أنيس حبيبة روحي حيث تشعر أنها أكثر نضجا في الأخيرة
ربما لأن إيفا كانت من بواكير الروايات التي كتبتها الليندي
الرواية تدور حول فتاة نشأت في ظروف غير طبيعية
عاشت كخادمة تتنقل من بيت لآخر منذ صغرها وكانت قد اكتشفت مهارة قص الحكايات لديها وهي الوسيلة التي استخدمتها للتواصل مع الآخرين بعد أن فقدت والدتها وهي طفلة ولم يعد لها أقارب سوى عرابتها التي قدمتها كخادمة لإحدى العائلا...more
Adrienne Boudreau
Set in an unnamed, South American country Eva Luna is a poetic, modern day Latina flavored version of 1001 Arabian nights. Within the novel, whilst the protagonist and other main characters are living their lives, they all encounter fantastical, unique and morally ambigous characters. What is most impressive about the novel though, is how all of those smaller, strange stories are wound together neatly at climax of the novel in a believable fashion.

The romantic triangle in the novel, though not...more
Patrick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neringa
It's a witty, ironic, humorous, magic and unusual story containing many unconventional characters and events. Let's remember the extravagant owner of a brothel, the transexual Mimi,the inventor of embalming fluid who keeps his beloved mummies at home, the Turkish merchant with a harelip and his wife who has a lot of valuable jewellery but keeps it buried in the garden stealing only short glimpses on them while reburying them at a new place, the lunatic and cruel teacher who likes to stare at nak...more
Octavio Navarro
Aug 08, 2007 Octavio Navarro rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Yes
Awesome Book but don't forget to take your Ritalin before reading this book, if you have a hard time keeping up with too many characters in a Plot, you will need to OD on Ritalin before starting this book, trust me you will need it! This will be a great movie someday, the characters are rich, but it woulf have been better if some of the smaller characters, someday get their own book, here is a suggestion Ms. Allende!
Kali
For some reason, this is one of my all-time favorite books. I think I was deeply moved and inspired by the novel because of the formative time period in my life when I read it. For me, it's about a woman who has had a difficult early life and who develops resilience and forbearance in the face of adversity. The entire novel for me is about the journey not just of herself but of an entire society that learns to adapt and transform reality in order not to dwell in suffering but to live a life of a...more
Jessica Hammer
This s my favorite book of all time, I have read it so many times! It's such a magical and colorful journey full of beautiful language, mysterious characters and wild adventures.
Wendy
This is the first of Isabel Allende that I've read, and I'm more than willing to give her a second chance, but I was very unmoved by this novel. Characters made choices without any real explanation or lead up; events happened just because they happened. Although the writing was lush and the events themselves often interesting, the fact that the book was so expository was irritating, and I didn't wind up caring much for any of the characters as a result.

Additionally, the whole book is about this...more
Caitlin
This was a very interesting book. Eva Luna explains her childhood through telling stories. She is narrating the events of her life and her eventual lover's, Rolf Carle. Eva Luna is also a story teller to the characters in the book. An orphan at a young age she bounces from benefactor to benefactor charming and escaping through her stories. There are only a couple of actual stories in the book but it is referenced a lot. It was a nice juxtaposition that the way she tells her story is like a fairy...more
Zoe Brown
A wild ride of a book with characters I couldn't resist. The story begins with Consuelo, Eva's mother, an orphan farmed out for work, who eventually ends up working in the home of strange little man, the inventor of embalming fluid (I know, but read on!). When the generous Consuelo makes love to a dying man, cures him and conceives, Eva's adventure begins. Like her mother, Eva is orphaned and passed from hand to hand - some gentle and loving, some harsh, some committed to her care, others droppi...more
Greg Bascom
EVA LUNA is the story of an impoverished, illegitimate servant girl, orphaned at age six, illiterate in her formative years for lack of formal education, who simply loves to tell stories and becomes a TV scriptwriter. She is mentored by the evasive ghost of her mother, an opportunistic godmother, a quirky woman who sleeps in a coffin and a confused female transvestite dressed as a woman. The time span is roughly three decades that include the Vietnam War, jet planes, soap operas and the United S...more
Helen Karol
I loved this quirky book. I love House of Spirits and have taught it a number of times. However, I found Daughter of Fortune slihtly disppointing in comparison - the author seemed somehow Americanised and I still haven't been able to finish Paula - as a mother I found it too scary a subject. But I craved the experience of entering into the world of Allende's Latin America. So I was delighted to find this book in a charity shop! I have mixed feelings about early magical realism novels as I find t...more
David Riddell
When I say this book is a tapestry, I do not mean in the cloying blah blah blah rich tapestry of life blah blah arsehole broadsheet arts reviewer kind of way. I mean it is actually like a tapestry - an pretty much static image that is none the less bright, colourful and at times exquisitely worked. There is not a story per se, more a sequence of fairly improbable events that act like the threads in the tapestry rather than distinct images depicted upon it. What the tapestry really depicts is rat...more
Davidg
It has been a while since I last entered one of Isobel Allende's worlds. Reading this, I wondered why it has taken me so long.

Allende conjures up an entire world, taking elements from traditional tales and South American history. The strong compelling characters are held together by the voice of Eva herself, telling the wild stories of her own life and those of the people she encounters. As in Traditional tales, events follow on, one after another. I notice that one or two reviewers have seen th...more
Caroline
While this book was, at times, powerfully written and while I didn't have as much of an aversion to the "mystical realism" (Janaki's categorization) bit as I thought I would, I also didn't feel all that moved by the story. I identified with the characters, especially early on, but the obsession with pinning down the kind of falling in love they were all doing was kind of annoying- the exaggerated romp in the sheets with a cherubic pair of female cousins who smelled like cloves, lemon, vanilla, b...more
Carrie
This book made me cry at one point. If a book can bring you to tears, then that's a pretty big selling point right there. Isabel Allende writes in the magical realism style, so if if you enjoy Gabriel Garcia Marquez I would recommend picking this up. Eva Luna is about the life, or the first forty years or so, of a woman named Eva Luna. She's born in the 1930s and grows up in an unnamed country in South America. The book focuses primarily on her childhood and the crazy situations she gets herself...more
yoli
This was truly amazing! It was wonderful to see how the stories tied together, and, although the pace was a little slow at times, I don't think I would have wanted it to go any faster because of the density and richness of Allende's text. I was able to resist the urge to skim until near the very end when the EXCITING thing(s) happened, and I had to make sure everything went well for the characters.

I wish I knew more South American history, however, as that really would have informed and enriched...more
waaronj
Though not putting me in thrall, this book generally kept my attention. I enjoyed several of the characters without feeling that their portrayals were especially compelling or enlightening. The plot meandered and different episodes of Eva's life were often disjoint. Greater depth of characters, especially Eva herself, and plot continuity would be desirable. However, there were some great scenes, such as the visit of Riad's cousin.
Judging from one book, Allende seems to be a competent writer who...more
Nicole
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lana
Not a fan of this type of writing. Allende has a habit of introducing dozens of eccentric characters, but never fully developing any of them. She gives each person a few poetic lines to desribe them to pull you in, but it never gets more complex than that. But, this story provided a good example of how powerful a force fiction is compared to non-fiction- facts are routinely misrepresented and distorted, but fiction is unfiltered. Wouldn't really recommend the book to anyone, but it wasn't allll...more
Célia Loureiro
I adored the connection that Isabel promotes in this book between women, and between women and nature. Frequently, in her books, she evokes nature as a friend of women, an important ally that gives you signs and provides you with herbs and other little treasures that allow women to keep their strenght, their heath, and to win some challenges. In Eva Luna, the atmosphere is mystical, surrealistic as always, and friendship seemed to me the greatest value.
Lisa James
As usual, Allende does NOT disappoint. She weaves an intricate tale, told by Eva herself, of life, love, betrayal, heartbreak, fear, & inspiration set against the backdrop of a fictional South American country whose name we never learn, along with the starkness of war, revolt, rebellion, etc. It's dark in places, no lie. But altogether a very spellbinding tale you don't want to put down, & that you get lost in....
Bob
The writing is beautiful but the book is unsatisfying. The director's description of Eva's telenovela script (which is supposed to capture the events in the novel) seems just:
"...the script did not even remotely fit the usual patterns; in fact, the whole thing was a jumble of bizarre characters and unrealistic anecdotes; it lacked true romance, the protagonists were neither good-looking nor rich; it was almost impossible to follow the train pof events; the audience would be totally lost. In su...more
Anne Schilde
Charming! Fabulously creative! ♥

I had a lot of trouble reading Eva Luna due to punctuation. There were times when a paragraph rolled on for more than an entire page, making thoughts hard to follow, and there were dialogs with no quotation marks that I had to stop and read repeatedly to make sure I knew who said what.

Worth. It.

This was an amazing story. I loved how Allende wove so many seemingly unimportant events into clever surprises to embellish the story as it went on, making it more and more...more
Kristen
I love her writing style, but something about this novel felt slight- the story of Eva's life is fascinating, but events are passed through quickly and without any kind of emotional resonance. I admire the way she links the personal and political, but believe that it has been done better- much better- many times before.
Chris
I don't really like Latin American literature. Even if I did, I would max give this four stars. I found the narrative annoyingly meandering, and I didn't like the way the book ended. The only reason I didn't give it one star is because it wasn't horribly written.
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ايفالونا 1 2 Mar 31, 2014 04:35AM  
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Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist. Allende, who writes in the "magic realism" tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at s...more
More about Isabel Allende...
The House of the Spirits Daughter of Fortune Portrait in Sepia Paula Island Beneath the Sea

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“There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them,' my mother explained shortly before she left me. 'If you can remember me, I will be with you always.” 335 likes
“She sowed in my mind the idea that reality is not only what we see on the surface; it has a magical dimension as well and, if we so desire, it is legitimate to enhance it and color it to make our journey through life less trying.” 49 likes
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