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The Soul of a Woman

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  9,289 ratings  ·  1,136 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea comes "a bold exploration of womanhood, feminism, parenting, aging, love and more" (Associated Press).

"The Soul of a Woman is Isabel Allende's most liberating book yet."--Elle

"When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating," begins Isabel Allende. As a child, she watched her mot
...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 30th 2021 by Random House Large Print Publishing (first published January 1st 2020)
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Popular Answered Questions
Charla Oppenlander It is a bit of both - it seemed to me more thoughts on feminism than memoir.
Andrea Islas The first Mexican impression is from November 2020 :) which is what I read

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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  9,289 ratings  ·  1,136 reviews


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Angela M
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I’ve read quite a few of Isabel Allende’s novels and while I haven’t loved them all equally, I’m a big fan, so it was impossible to pass this up after reading Diane S’s and Elyse’s reviews. Rather than a straight narrative memoir, it was as if she was speaking about what crossed her mind, moving back and forth between different times in her life. It’s a wonderful self reflection, a tribute to some women in her life, a focus on her feminist views and with all of this, she eloquently imparts the w ...more
Elyse  Walters
“The Soul of A Woman”....did many of the same things to me as
....”Becoming” by Michelle Obama...
And “
....”Paula”, ( non-fiction by Isabelle Allende)...
And
....”The Sum of our Days”: ( non-fiction by Isabel Allende)...
I melted with pleasure!!!

“The Soul of a Woman”.... [a tribute to feminism]....is intimate, pulsing with depth, breadth, life, and love.....even great moments of humor.
It’s filled luminous stories, and wisdom. Isabel’s writing is PASSIONATE!

“The Soul of A Woman” feels like LOVE MESS
...more
Diane S ☔
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nf-2021
I can't think of a better book to review on this very special day. A new administration, but also a woman, a black, Asian woman will be sworn in as Vice-President of the United States. The first woman to rise to the upper ecehlon of our government. May there be many more.

Allende's own feminism appeared early, a time when her mother was left alone to raise three young children. Seeing her mother struggle, she was determined to never in her life give total control to a man. In South america, a mal
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Brina
Apr 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Hello, Goodreads. It’s been almost three months since I picked up a book due to an unexpected positive change in my life. I have always been a substitute teacher but during this school year I have worked everyday and when I say everyday I mean every school day for six to eight hours. I have worked in preschool and eighth grade and every grade in between, including a three week stint in a third grade classroom. The work has been rewarding but also exhausting, and when I walk in the door, the last ...more
Karen
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! A wonderful memoir by this author
I’ve only read one of her books prior to this.. The Japanese Lover... and I really enjoyed it, I do need to read more of her.
This memoir, Allende says, “It’s a reflection of my feminist storyline through my own personal history.”
As a young child when her father left the family, her mother had nothing, abandoned with a newborn and two toddlers .. she had no money or resources, and they had to move into the grandfathers house, where men made all the rules.. s
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Linda
"She has the Spirit of the Sun, the Moods of the Moon, and the Will of the Wind." (Unknown)

To define Womanhood is like taking on the task of counting each and every grain of sand along the shore. Each has its own individual shape, lustre, hue of color, glint of light. But when together and unified, the composite is a Heavenly one.

Isabel Allende is a favorite author of countless numbers of us. We wait with vigilance for her next offering. The Soul of a Woman leans from her usual fare to more of a
...more
Swaroop
Jun 29, 2021 is currently reading it
“We have to consider violence against women for what it really is: the greatest crisis that faces humanity.”
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
As a young woman in the late 1960s, Chilean novelist Isabel Allende rode the first wave of feminism. She has paved the way for younger generations and feminists today, and here is The Soul of a Woman, she is giving us the gift of her insight as she reflects on her feminist storyline through her personal history. She packs in a lot here in this short, bold, inspiring upbeat part memoir as she shares her life lessons and wisdom on womanhood, aging, ambition, romance, and marriage. She asks female ...more
Judy
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
As soon as I saw that Isabel Allende had written a new book, I requested this one. She is one of my favorite writers. Her writing is always beautiful and passionate. This book was a little different in that it is not fiction. It is a reflection/meditation on women - what it means to be a woman and the hardships they have faced under a civilization ruled by patriarchy. She brings to light the plight of women, especially those in third-world countries, and the fate they suffer in life in a world w ...more
Cheri

Allende, born in 1942, begins this memoir by saying ’When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, even before the concept was known in my family, I am not exaggerating.’ It’s very rare that a book grabs my attention from the first sentence on, but Allende did just that. As Dorothy says to Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello.”

Being labelled a feminist has had different connotations through the ages, and different labels have been applied as years have passed, but it’s safe to say that none
...more
Linden
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Isabel Allende is the older woman that every younger woman should meet: outspoken, experienced, and wise. She tells of her life, her choices (both good and bad), her sorrows, and her joys. She speaks of women who are abused and women victimized by a patriarchal society—so much food for thought in such a slim volume. Her words really resonated with me, and I’m grateful to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to review this ARC.
Lou
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Soul of a Woman, the almost 80-year-old Chilean-American author invites us to accompany her on this personal and emotional journey where she reviews her connection with feminism from childhood until today. In this part memoir, part polemic, she remembers some of the essential women in her life, her mother Panchita—who she saw become dependent on men after she was abandoned by Isabel’s father with three small children when Isabel was only in kindergarten and was forced to move back in with ...more
Donna Davis
Isabel Allende has long been a guiding light for women, immigrants, and social justice activists. She is an old woman now, and her wisdom and word smithery have only grown deeper and wider. Thanks go to Net Galley and Random House Ballantine for the review copy. This book is for sale now.

There are four sections to this compact memoir, and overall, it is a memoir of Allende’s feminist philosophy and experiences. She also describes the trajectory of the feminist movement and the gains that have b
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PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of THE SOUL OF A WOMAN by Isabel Allende in exchange for my honest review.***

4.5 STARS

“When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating.”

Reminded of the ERA button I wore when I was eight years old, that first sentence made me want to read THE SOUL OF A WOMAN immediately. Great memoirs don’t just tell an individual story for me, they help increase my knowledge of myself and the world.

Isabel Allende, raised with
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Lynne
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book by one of my favorite authors! So wonderful to hear of her philosophy of women, relationships, parenting, the pandemic, and much more. My only criticism is that it’s way too short. I want to know more! She is an outstanding contribution to literature, community, and the world. Highly recommend this one. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
Charlene
Jul 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time to read Allende although I've read about her/heard friends rave about her books for ages. And this is a firecracker introduction to her . . . very short, very easy to read. Not a memoir but reflections on her own feminism, her "life as a woman" , her lifelong rebellion against patriarchy, women's conditions around the world and her foundation's work for improvement.

I especially liked her brief stories of her mother (born too early to take advantage of some of the changes that helped
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Jessica Haider
I've read many of Isabel Allende's novels so it was exciting to get a look into her own story. In this short memoir, Allende reflects on her own life and what it means to her to be a woman. She grew up in the 1960's as part of a Chilean family and rode the first wave of feminism. Through her 3 marriages, Allende has learned what love, passion, and her own femininity means to her. She discusses the challenges she faced being a female author trying to initially get published in an age when most po ...more
Liv
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, feminism, 2021
The Soul of a Woman

"We have to love ourselves a lot and love others without calculating how much we are loved in return. This is the stage of kindness."

The Soul of a Woman is part memoir, part discussion of feminism where Allende talks about love, loss, passion and sense of self.

I thought some of the most interesting aspects were when Allende spoke about her age and the way older women are viewed and behaved. She spoke about how she lacks the same concerns she did when she was younger about comp
...more
Laura
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There is no feminism without noise."

I don't read many biographies or memoirs which I plan to, because I love listening to people's stories and with this pandemic I don't get to hang out with people as much. For my job I usually visit clients' worksites and chat with people and people don't want to chat on Zoom as much.

This book was more a witness of stories of women throughout the world as seen through Isabel's experiences and the work that needs to be done. The work that we need to do for the
...more
Claire
This was a short read and as the author herself says, it's more of "an informal chat" than any other label one might put against it.

Isabelle Allende looks back over her life from the viewpoint of her gender, as a woman and looks at how the family she was born into, and their circumstances contributed to her own growth and development and attitudes.

Her mother Panchita was abandoned by her husband in Peru with two toddlers and newborn (Isabel), forcing her to return to her family in Chile. It is t
...more
Rennie
This book, my heart.
خُلود
Jun 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book, first time for me reading book by Allende ...somehow educational and definitely improved my knowledge about feminism.
Gwen
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this memoir written by Isabel Allende while she and her husband, Roger, quarantined in their home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been a fan of Allende since reading Daughter of Fortune over a decade ago. In this memoir, Allende shares how her life was shaped living in Chile, a patriarchal country, and with her family during childhood; and explains her passionate opinions on equality, aging, and relationships/love. Her ideas on continuing to nurture the soul while aging, ...more
Abbie
Jun 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me laugh and cry and has renewed and inspired my own feminist journey. I could include so many quotes from this book, but I feel this one beautifully epitomises our current fight, here's to never staying quiet!

"The patriarchy is stony. Feminism, like the ocean, is fluid, powerful, deep, and encompasses the infinite complexity of life; it moves in waves, currents, tides, and sometimes in storms. Like the ocean, feminism never stays quiet." (p.11)
...more
Trishita Das
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Story of the book-
Isabelle Allende thinks back over her life from the perspective of her sex, as a lady and takes a gander at how the family she was naturally introduced to, and their conditions added to her own development and advancement, and mentalities.
Her mom Panchita was deserted by her significant other in Peru with two babies and an infant (Isabel), constraining her to get back to her family in Chile. It is the present condition she attributes her resistance to male power to. Dread and
...more
Melinda
The Soul of a Woman is an incredible short book, written as part memoir and part essay on feminism and what it means to be a woman.

I particularly loved the discussion on ageing (how society discards us as we age, and the beauty to be found in ageing) as well as the tributes to women in Isabel's life.

This is the kind of book I read and want to buy for everyone I know. I know I'll be referring back to it many, many times.

We want a world of beauty, not only that which the senses appreciate, but als
...more
Aya  Youssef
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Untitled-design-3
https://youtu.be/E7MOxq96j-4
“If for any reason you don't like the word feminist, look for another word. The name is not important as long as the work gets done for yourself and for your sisters in the rest of the world who need it.”
― Isabel Allende, The Soul of a Woman
هنا على هذا اللينك دردشة عن الكتاب
https://youtu.be/E7MOxq96j-4
...more
RoXXie | The Art of Reading
I am in love, love, love... with this book.
I hardly agree with everything said in a feminist book, but this one here: To the point!!!

My review will come shortly. Stay tuned
Janine
Jul 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never been disappointed by Allende’s writing.
Lisa Harker
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting book. Allende, a self proclaimed feminist since she was a child, expresses her views on feminism through her personal history and also touches on the many worldwide issues facing women of all cultures.

Allende writes with passion and it is evident that she carries these beliefs into her daily endeavours through all of the causes that she supports. At 78 years old she is an inspiration and a majestic force in the literary world.
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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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“When talking about human rights, in truth we’re referring to men’s rights. If a man is beaten and deprived of his freedom, it’s called torture. When a woman endures the same, it’s called domestic violence and is still considered a private matter in most of the world.” 4 likes
“El patriarcado es un juez que nos juzga por nacer y nuestro castigo es la violencia que no ves. Es femicidio. Impunidad para mi asesino. Es la desaparición. Es la violación. Y la culpa no era mía, ni dónde estaba ni como vestía. El violador eras tú.” 2 likes
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