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Eva Luna

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  39,787 ratings  ·  1,454 reviews
Meet New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende’s most enchanting creation, Eva Luna: a lover, a writer, a revolutionary, and above all a storyteller—available for the first time in ebook.

Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant and a snake-bitten gardener—born poor, orphaned at an early age, and working as a servant. Eva is a naturally gifted and imaginat
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Bantam (first published 1987)
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Jalilah Yes! When I read it the first time I did not have children and it did not bother me as much. Now 2 decades later as a mother myself it really bothered…moreYes! When I read it the first time I did not have children and it did not bother me as much. Now 2 decades later as a mother myself it really bothered me this time around. (less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  39,787 ratings  ·  1,454 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Eva Luna", by Isabel Allende was first written in 1987 --translated from Spanish to English.
I've read most books of her books - but never read this one.....which is now available as a Kindle download-- for $2.99

Eva, ( a storyteller much like Isabel Allende, and revolutionary), begins this story -- narrating in first person. She describes her mother, Consuelo's, life. Her mother worked for a professor-- and usually did everything he asked her to do. One day an Indian Gardner was bitten by a sna
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Earlier this year, my friend Nina and I were discussing internationally written literature, specifically from Latin America. We both had a connection to it for a few reasons, which prompted her to suggest a buddy read. We settled on Isabel Allende, and she selected Eva Luna. We spent the last week reading the book and discussing some of the key points and will continue to do so, I'm sure. For now, I'm sharing some of the highlights of my thoughts.

Let's set the stage. Early to mid 20th century. S
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can’t say this book is among my five favorite from Isabel Allende, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a really good book. It mostly means Allende is an excellent writer, and there are many of her books to make the list.

One of the things I liked most, is the dual narrative. One side telling the story of Eva, the protagonist, conceived when Eva’s mother takes pity on a man who after being bitten by a snake is condemned to death, and Rolf, whose destiny finally brings him to South America where he
Feb 09, 2010 rated it liked it
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 amazin
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"She placed at my feet the treasures of the Orient, the moon, and beyond. She reduced me to the size of an ant so I could experience the universe from that smallness; she gave me wings to see it from the heavens; she gave me the tail of a fish so I would know the depths of the sea."

I've read a few of Allende's novels and her memoir. I must say, I've settled on this one as my favorite just as one would settle on choice of wine: a few sips here and there, tightening of the tastebuds around one fla
The first book I’ve read by Isabel Allende, and she reminds me of Neil Gaiman: mesmerising popular storytelling at its best.

Eva Luna is a novel from the 1980s, and as such its use of stereotypes sometimes falls below standards now expected in the literary world, but the characters were so grand and involving that they often felt more like archetype than stereotype.

The unnamed fictional country in which Eva lives seems designed to take in as much as possible of the northern half of South Americ
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
The Good:
The characters are all amazing - mythical figures inhabiting an unnamed part of Latin America some time in the middle of the 20th century. The setting is vivid, and the series of vignettes through the first half of the book read like fairy tales. It's also pretty funny.

The Bad:
The sense of magic really died away in the second half. It became a fairly shallow political story full of neat resolutions and pleasant anticlimaxes. And books about writers always feel a bit self-congratulatory.
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Eva Luna has a gift. The child growing up in an unnamed South American country is blessed with the ability to weave compelling tales which enchant her audience - children and adults alike. It provides her with a way to survive in an extremely tough world. She is born into the underclass and jobs are brutish, insecure and poorly paid. People close to her die or get sick on a regular basis.

Cue a fascinating journey involving amongst other things mummies, a stuffed puma, corrupt politicians and pol
Ivana Books Are Magic
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having previously read The House of the Spirits , Of Love and Shadows, Daughter of Fortune and Zorro , I can't deny having certain expectations when it came to this author. Did I expect to like this book based solely on the fact I enjoy her writing? I must admit that I did. Did I end up liking it? Very much so, thanks for asking.

At this point, I think I can say that I'm not only familiar with this writer's style but also with Allende's imaginative scope. Allende's imagination is truly impressiv
Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
César Lasso
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's the only book by Allende I have read and I really liked the story. The characters are very varied. There's an important character, an Arab immigrant, who is a lovely person, honest, generous and modest.

Anyway, I've been told this author can get very repetitive... Save for that sweet Arab immigrant, I didn't find much in the book that might encourage me to go on with other works by Allende.
Joy D
A beautifully written celebration of the senses, this historical fiction is set in an unnamed South American country and recounts the life of Eva Luna. The story opens in the early twentieth century with Eva’s mother’s tragic life story, including Eva’s birth. It then follows Eva as she moves from place to place, encountering challenges and developing friendships. Eva is a strong female who must make her way in the world with little assistance. Orphaned at an early age, her life is full of sorro ...more
aayushi girdhar
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chile
there's a kind of magic in us that refuses to be tamed. the premise of this statement stands on a trembling ground, our own hands building the graves we hope to live inside for the rest of our lives. i vaguely remember my childhood memories playing games that could only exist in imagination and living inside stories that required all the belief someone is capable of holding. it is, thus, more tragic than surprising that i grew up to be such a skeptic.

when my friend gifted me this book, i wasn't
Inderjit Sanghera
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is something otherworldly about magical realism, something surreal, whereby the reader is transported into a parallel universe, a universe where, despite the stories ostensibly being set in our world, the colours, sights and sounds are richer and vibrate with the vivacity of the writer's imagination and the sensuality engendered by their prose. Although 'Eva Luna' contains many of the tropes associated with magic realism; political dissidence and violence, a cast of eccentric characters in ...more
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isabel Allende is one of my favorite authors and I’m having fun re-reading some of her books. It took me a little longer to complete this one. I mean that in a good way. Her writing is so beautiful and so rich, that I often found myself re-reading paragraphs. I love the depth and richness of all the characters.

A quote that I loved:
“The house was a vast labyrinth of books. Volumes were stacked from floor to ceiling on every wall, dark, crackling, redolent of leather bindings, smooth to the touc
Connie G
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
"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."

Eva Luna was orphaned at an early age, but her mother passed on her gift of storytelling. Eva was poor and worked as a servant for some eccentric people in an unnamed South American country. While reality was grim, a good storyteller can change her reality by embellish
Ashley Nohemi
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Perhaps we had the good fortune to stumble into an exceptional love, a love I did not have to invent, only clothe in all it’s glory so it could endure in memory—in keeping with the principle that we can construct reality in the image of our desires.”

I am so torn with my rating. The beginning of the novel deserves 5 stars. But once Eva Luna moved on from Riad Halabí (about halfway in the novel) the story became rushed and not as descriptive. I was unsatisfied with the ending because there could
Adrienne Snape
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Was assigned this for the Feminist Ethics course where I composed the paper on thisKafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Enjoyed Eva Luna immensely on the political level, but, then, there's the melodrama. This is a telenovela, a Fassbinder for those in the cult of the (Latin American) Boom. There is a fascinating positioning of common tropes to allegedly higher ends.

Despite is exaggeration, the model Allende employs lends itself well to theory, for those inclined.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-delight
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
Michael Finocchiaro
I read this book over 2 decades ago but I recall it being a wonderful read full of love and adventure. Isabel of course will always mourn the assassination of her father Salvador Allende by Pinochet's henchmen (and backed by the CIA) and some of this intrigue is woven into the story line. Her writing contains a touch of the magical realism of Marquez but with a very female (and sexually active female at that) perspective. There is also a sub-narrative and perhaps it is fair to call it post-moder ...more
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Reality is a jumble we can't always measure or decipher, because everything is happening at the same time. While you and I are speaking here, behind your back Christopher Columbus is inventing America, and the same Indians that welcome him in the stain-glass window are still naked in a jungle a few hours from this office, and will be there a hundred years from now. I try to open a path through that maze, to put a little order in that chaos, to make life more bearable. When I write, I describe l ...more
Abbie | ab_reads
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm delighted to say that my second Allende novel pretty much lived up to my expectations set by The House of the Spirits! I can see this woman becoming a firm favourite author of mine. She seamlessly blends magical realism with love, sexuality, politics, and feminism with a knack for characterisation that makes every sentence a joy to read!
Eva Luna is a story about stories; as Eva grows up in a tumultuous political climate, she finds herself in the care of an eclectic range of people, all of w
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a reread for me, although the first time around was decades ago. Overall I enjoyed it every bit as much as I did back then. There are some sexual/romantic relationships that I found for today's standards inappropriate, so for this reason I rate this book slightly below House of the Spirits, Ines of my Soul and Island Beneath the Sea.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Intriguing and promising in the first third of narration, but then it slows down. Events a bit predictable. Why it is less enchanting than The House of the Spirits?
Eva Luna is a storyteller. These are her stories about her mother, her childhood as an orphan, her growing up and becoming a writer, various loves, and the many interesting characters that come and go from her life.

While this book is mainly about Eva, we also get the story of Rolf Carle. His story runs parallel to Eva's, and they eventually meet as adults, but we learn about both of them through the stories of their youth.

This book was well-written, though slow-paced. The characters were stron
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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Play Book Tag: Eva Luna - Allende - 4 stars 1 7 Jul 01, 2020 01:33AM  
Play Book Tag: Eva Luna - Isabel Allende - 4* 3 16 Sep 10, 2019 03:37AM  
Into the Forest: Eva Luna w/ spoilers 43 20 Jul 29, 2019 01:13AM  
Into the Forest: Eva Luna no spoilers 28 18 Jul 20, 2019 01:52PM  
Play Book Tag: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende - 4 stars (plus other reviews) 8 14 Jun 25, 2019 04:44AM  
FoCo Readers: * Eva Luna by Isabel Allende 7 13 Jul 08, 2017 06:25PM  
Read Women: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende 4 34 Apr 22, 2016 05:14PM  

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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

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