Cynthia Davidson's Reviews > My Invented Country : A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile

My Invented Country  by Isabel Allende
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Apr 01, 12

Read in December, 2011

Because I trust the insights of this author, I picked up this book, prior to a trip to Argentina & Chile, in hopes of becoming a bit better prepared for my short visit. Allende gave me what I was looking for.

Having read quite a few of her fiction novels, this was my first foray into her non-fiction & I enjoyed her 'nostalgic journey' through the country she called home, before relocating to the USA. She gave me a sense of the place, both its charms and its challenges, & furthered my interest in returning there sometime. Until I read this autobiographical work, I did not realize we'd both been living in Caracas, Venezuela in 1975. Wish I'd met her then!

If you want a good look at this South American country, through the eyes of a truth-telling woman, whose life has been profoundly influenced by Chile's complications, she will give you a good introduction without ever sounding like a lecturer. It's worth noting that she's related to Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile (from 1970 until 1973). He was assassinated during the (CIA-backed) military coup that ended both his life and his left-leaning policies.

I respected the fact that she's gotten over things that would've buried other people. Even those who envy her, like one Chilean woman I met on the plane, had to admit, 'Hey, she's done her thing,' which is more than many more timid souls can say.

This is NOT a tour guide type of travel book. Allende is far more informative about the history, the influences and most of all what the brave people tried to do, and the stark choices they were faced with, concerning the problems of poverty, politics, power, dictatorships, torture and coup d'etats.

She makes me want to salute the courage of my feisty 'sisters' in South America.
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Lucy absolutely agree! great review.:)


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