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Inés of My Soul

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  23,477 ratings  ·  1,910 reviews
Born into a poor family in Spain, Inés, a seamstress, finds herself condemned to a life of hard work without reward or hope for the future. It is the sixteenth century, the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and when her shiftless husband disappears to the New World, Inés uses the opportunity to search for him as an excuse to flee her stifling homeland and ...more
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by Harper (first published September 5th 2006)
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Natalie Shaw I absolutely love her work! I am the pickiest person when it comes to reading. I read a lot of books out of obligation, being an English teacher. But,…moreI absolutely love her work! I am the pickiest person when it comes to reading. I read a lot of books out of obligation, being an English teacher. But, there are few books that I read because I want to. I appreciate her love for history and how she weaves the most eloquent story-lines, and uses the most beautiful language. I've also read "Island Beneath the Sea" and "Daughter of Fortune," (which was my favorite), and might be a good place to start. "Ines of My Soul," is a great book as well. It's rich with history, which I love. (less)
Skylar It is considered historical fiction. I read the exact word "historical fiction" on the back cover of the book!…moreIt is considered historical fiction. I read the exact word "historical fiction" on the back cover of the book!(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Inés del Alma Mía = Ines of My Soul, Isabel Allende

Inés of My Soul (2006) is a historical novel by Chilean author Isabel Allende. The novel consists of an elderly Inés Suárez writing a memoir of her life.

She narrates about her relationship with Pedro de Valdivia and the obstacles they had to overcome to conquer Chile and found the City of Santiago.

The novel relates the main facts of the life of Inés, as written to be read by her adoptive daughter Isabel.

In the first chapter, "Europe, 1500-153
"In the Americas every man was his own master; he never had to bow to anyone, he could begin anew, be a different person, live a different life. There no one bore his dishonor for years, and even the humblest could rise in the world."

Many years ago, I read several of Isabel Allende’s books and fell in love with them. Novels like The House of Spirits, Daughter of Fortune and Of Love and Shadows put Allende on my list of favorite authors at the time. Whenever I saw any of her books at a library bo
Jim Fonseca
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chilean-authors
This is an epic historical novel about the founding of Chile in the Sixteenth Century. We follow events through the eyes of Ines who, in her old age, is writing a memoir for her daughter. Ines, based on the historical figure of Ines de Suarez, lived a full life into her seventies, surviving two husbands and a long-term lover. One husband and the lover were pioneers and governors of the struggling settlement of Santiago at the core of Chile, settled from Peru to the north.


Ines suffered hardship
Joy D
Historical fiction about the life of Inés Suárez. Born in Spain in the early 1500s, she sails to South America with her niece to find her husband, Juan de Málaga, who has gone in search of gold. The story is told by Inés, near the end of her life, in the form of a diary she plans to give to her stepdaughter, Isabel. The narrative covers her three romantic relationships, and her participation in the expedition to conquer Chile. They establish the city of Santiago and battle the native people.

Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Colonization is such an innocuous sounding word, but the reality is just the opposite. It is the audacity of a powerful country to invade another land and annihilate the indigenous population. Often with the pretense of living together harmoniously, the native population is killed in battle, enslaved, or dies from diseases for which they have no immunity. Is there another way?

The colonization of Chile was no different. In the name of Christianity, the Spaniards 'conquered' this land of great bea
A very 'Inés' kind of review:

I have been a reader for the last eleven years and am now the loyal fan of Isabel Allende , writing this review of Inés of My Soul in the year of Our Lord 2012.I am not sure whether this review will convince anyone to read this book but I am sure this is one of the best historical novels ever written and Isabel Allende is, undoubtedly, the only writer who hovers between a historian, a storyteller and a feminist.

As a result this book isn't limited to a singl
Zainab Amadahy
Aug 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I got about halfway through this book before I decided Ines of My Soul was an assault against my spirit. The book is well written and, I would assume, well researched. My first source of disillusionment came when the reader (I listened to the audio book) Blair Brown for some reason decided to read the entire book in a faux Spanish accent, mutilating most of the pronunciations. Why?? Distracting and annoying to say the least.

But that was a minor quibble compared to actual content. Written from th
Apr 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in South American history
While this did not live up to some of Isabel Allende's other work in terms of either writing style or character development, the history was fascinating. It is a fictionalized account of the founding of Chile, told through the eyes of the "mother of the country," the leading conquistador's mistress. The book is written to be her memoirs, so there are rather annoying interludes in which the narrator is in her "present day," talking about how she must finish the story before she dies, blah blah bl ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very well written book, and the voice of the narrator/main character was very strong. There were a few parts when it got a little slow, but would quickly pick back up and resume the epic, dramatic, and violent storyline. I already have a few other books by Allende picked out to read someday, and look forward to them.
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Becky by: Jackie
3.5 Stars

This is my second book by Allende, and I can understand why people love her writing so much. She is a beautiful storyteller and her writing is so evocative and lovely and honest without being flowery or overdone. I love that quality in a writer - it's one of my favorite things about Colleen McCullough as well, especially in Tim. That book was my introduction to McCullough and it made a deep impression on me and instantly became one of my favorite books. Crap. Now I want to read it again
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of historical novels well done. I also love to learn about areas and societies of which I know little or nothing. This book fills both bills. Ines Suarez was a remarkable Spanish lady who traveled to the New World in the 1530s and helped to settle Peru and Chili. The only name I recognized from history class was that of Pizzaro, so you can imagine that this was a wholly new adventure for me.

Allende impresses me by her very even-handed handling of the native Indians who already po
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Quickly summed up, Isabel Allende's novel: Ines of My Soul, is a "true" account about Dona Ines Saurez who left Spain in the 1500's to go to the Americas and ended up helping conquering parts of Chile. I find it sad that it took over 400 years for her part in history to be recognized.

I have never read a book by Isabel Allende. This was recommended to me by a friend. So I cannot compare this to any of her other works.

I do not know much about Chilean or Peruvian history, so I found this novel to b
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've loved everything from Isabel Allende but this book is really one of her best.
Edited to add: I just reread this book and enjoyed it just as much the second time around.
During the Covid 19 crisis my local library has been closed, so I have been rereading all my favourite Isabel Allende books that I already own.
Allende is really in her element when she writes about her home country Chile!
The books, like this one, her first, The House of the Spirits and her most recent A Long Petal of the Se
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spain, owned-books
Isabel’s writing is always expressive and filled with sly references to characters foibles and faults. The central character is complex but hard to connect with. Her courage is exemplary yet as the matriarch of a country she fails in several key ways to inspire.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Inés Suárez is a heroine that will stick with me for a long time. At the book's opening, she estimates she's about seventy years old and is going to soon die. In the rambling way of someone working through their memories, distracted at times by side stories and the need to unburden her soul, Inés' story unfolds.

Born to an ordinary Spanish family, she and her childhood lover are caught up in the adventures of the Americas and the untold riches any man can claim. She goes to join him after he lea
Jul 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
Well, Isabel Allende has been one of my favorite writers since high school. I read The House of the Spirits and fell in love with her fantastical and historical story. I've been a devoted reader of her stuff throughout the years. Unfortunately, I haven't yet found another of her books that resonates as much as House of the Spirit did and this book is no exception. The book is about the Spanish conquest of Chile and includes a lot of interesting history and well-developed characters. The battle s ...more
Cat (cat-thecatlady)
the line between fiction and non-fiction is too blurred on this one. it kind reads like a historical book told in the first person, which left me a bit disappointed. expected a bit more about Inés life and struggles, and a little less about the taking of other people's rightful land. but I'm not going to rant about colonialism here. anyway, Inés was an absolute icon, so ahead of her time. she's the most interesting thing about this book, in all honesty.

not that impressed with my first Allende bo
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like everything Ms. Allende writes, this novel is filled with beautifully crafted sentences, characters and stories bordering on the mythical, and an abrupt ending. This book is historic fiction; she takes the role of Ines Suarez, one of the founders of Chile, and recounts the adventure of establishing an outpost in the New World. Great story.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: hf, south-america
Maybe 3.5 stars. My first book by this author. Some of this read like non-fiction but definitely a fictionalized story of the Spanish foray into South America focusing on the conquest of what would become known as Chile and the establishment of the city of Santiago. It is narrated by the 70 y/o Ines Suarez as she relates this history (1500-1553) to her daughter Isabel as she intuits her impending death. " I fear these pages already contain more cruelty that a Christian soul can tolerate. " It wa ...more
15/2 - I know almost nothing about South American history - I have heard of the Aztecs and the Incas and some of the myths surrounding them (mostly from movies), but I don't know any of the historical figures of any past era (or really even, the current era). I have wanted to read an Isabel Allende book for years and until I started reading this a few minutes ago I had no idea that it was about real people from the past. I am intrigued and excited to continue my first historical fiction from Sou ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2010
This is a historical fiction novel, based on the true story of Inés Suárez, a poor Spanish woman who travels to Peru to find her husband (who left her for the adventure of the Americas) in the 1500's. Finding her husband is an excuse for her to leave her hometown and be free. In Spain she was left in limbo as basically a widow waiting for husband, who she may never have had word of. In Peru, she learns of her husband's death and then meets Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and Francisco Pizarro's fiel ...more
Ghost of the Library
I don't like historical novels

The standard detours from proven history for the sake of sales/unfulfilled romantic fantasies or just sheer laziness drives me nuts and makes me shiver in disgust, yes "reluctant empress" talking to you....

However, occasionally, either because known facts are few and somewhat unreliable or because i love the author, i 'll give it a try and perhaps, just perhaps, once in a blue moon i am pleasantly engaged and surprised.

Ines del Alma Mia (Ines of my soul in the engli
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inés of My Soul is a fantastic book to read if you enjoy fictional literature which also manages to be educational. Although, calling this book 'fictional' is not entirely true, given that Inés Suárez, as well as many of the other characters in the book such as Rodrigo de Quiroga and Pedro de Valdivia, were real, living conquistadors of the 1500's. There is an authors note at the book of the book which states;

"This novel is a work of intuition, but any similarity to events and persons related to
Linda Hart
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This book did not captivate me the way Allende's other books did. Historically, very little is known about Inés Suarez, the lone woman who left Spain for Peru with the conquistadores in the 1500's, eventually becoming one of the conquerors of Chile and wife of the Royal Governor. Allende did a wonderful job of shaping Inés's voice; transforming her from the almost anonymous historical figure she is into a passionate, admirable woman whose words and actions matter in the grand scheme of things. D ...more
Beth Cain
Aug 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, couldn't get into it. Read the first half and decided to call it quits. I just can't feel compassion for conquistadors; I keep rooting for them all to die and leave the natives alone. ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall Ines of My Soul is a solid read. Even though I had mixed feeling over the course of my reading, I can saw both that I'm glad I got to experience it and I'm also glad to be done reading it.

I was initially intrigued by the premise, I love obscure historical power ladies. And to find out that a 16th century city was founded in part thanks to a woman is even cooler. And what the most interesting part is is how Allende is able to show the slow progression of Ines's change from simple seamstr
Clare O'Beara
This is an astounding book about the establishment of the Spanish state of Chile. There were plenty of other people there, of course, referred to as Indians and consisting of various tribes. None of this mattered to most Spaniards, except for a workforce.

Told from the point of view of Ines, a seamstress from a decent but plain family, who was bored in Spain and followed her conquistador husband to Peru, only to discover that he had been killed, and then made herself useful to the man who was be
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Ines…” was one of the novels on the Clear Glade list that I was most looking forward to, as the topic of the Spanish conquest of South America really interests me. It is the story of Ines Suarez, a Spanish woman of modest origins who rose to become governor of the kingdom of Chile. The story is told by Ines, in her own words, but features many famous cameos- e.g., Pizarro, de Valdivia, etc.

The novel does a good job of trying to tell the story of both sides. I’ll never take the part of the conqu
Monica Hills
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
History is more amazing than any fantasy portrayed on tv. This book taught me more about the conquest of South America than a history class I took in college. I only gave this novel 3 stars because at times the novel was hard to follow and went back and forth in time with a confusing number of names. The story though was impressive especially what Inés accomplished in the 16th century. It would be impressive for a man but ten times that because she was a woman and had so many constraints put on ...more
J.S. Dunn
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
a rare 5 stars from this picky reader
Lush, richly detailed, immerses one quickly into the era and the characters. The accuracy of the historical events provides all the plot points one could desire. More would be hyperbole. No need for tacky ' plot points ' so beloved of commercialized authors these days. The history is sufficiently interesting --- if not, go watch tv!

It seems that every 20th/21st century author of South American extraction must throw in politics and a bit of magical realism; t
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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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