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The Soul of a Woman

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,119 ratings  ·  239 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea comes a passionate and inspiring meditation on what it means to be a woman.

"When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating," begins Isabel Allende. As a child, she watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children without "resources or voice." Isa
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Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 2nd 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,119 ratings  ·  239 reviews


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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
Judy
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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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Gwen
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bookishplans
The Soul of a Woman is my first exposure to Isabel Allende. I have heard her speak and found her very captivating. In this short work, her voice is strong and engaging, much as it is in person. However, the message of the book felt unfocused and scattered, covering many topics about being a woman, but none in a way that shed new light on the topic of feminism. Her perspective of feminism in Chile was interesting, but that was not the focus of the book. I found the work disjointed and her message ...more
Maria Carmo
This amazing book is a needed reference regarding not only the fight for genre equality, but also regarding the current state of the world, human relationships and the very real question: what do we want of the world? How can we help contribute to a positive change?

Congratulations to this amazing Author and Woman and Human Being.

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon, 6 December 2020.
Mimi
"The Soul of a Woman” is an ode to feminism. Partially autobiographical, the book explores feminism from the author’s perspective. Isabel Allende has done a wonderful job in bringing out the essence of feminism, seeing it from her point of view as a girl, daughter, mother, and as a woman who actively participated in the feminist movement her entire life.

If you have read any books by Isabel Allende, there is no need for me to tell you how powerful her word is, how passionately she writes. This b
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Donna Boyd
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to #NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende is a powerful book about what it means to be a . It is also a book about power and feminism which Allende defines as "it is not what we have between our legs but what we have between our ears". She learned about being a woman from watching her mother struggle to raise three children as a single mother ...more
Nonabgo
(3.5, I wish Goodreads had a wider rating system)

I've said this multiple times, Isabel Allende is one of my favourite writers. I've had a love-meh relationship with her books over the years - I find her earlier books amazing, the newest ones less so. She's a prolific writer and it's only natural to have some misses in between.

The Soul of a Woman is not Allende's first memoir. She has quite a few of those, more so than any writer I've encountered. She has lived an interesting life, with a lot of
...more
Torrie Tovar
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book it out March 2, 2021

This is a book that could easily be read in one sitting. It is superb.

I pretty much highlighted the entire book. It is definitely one I will buy when it is released. I may even carry it around with me.

This is Isabel Allende so you already know the writing is excellent. At times you are mad, at times you are crying, and at times you are laughing. 

This little book is ab
...more
Bianca
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply but beautifully written. Loved it
`Cristina
Isabel Allende is one of my favorite writers, I read all her books. I waited for this eagerly.
However, I am slightly disappointed. I enjoyed it, but if you have been following her for years, you already know most of the anecdotes in the book. The best part is when she talks about the relation with her mother and with her children, she is funny, warm, witty. But to be honest I was expecting a bit more. Still a pleasure reading her.
Morgan Schulman
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

What a gift to the feminist movement and women everywhere!
Mandy Hazen
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully tragically honest writing of what it is like to be a woman. And specifically a woman of color. The impacts of that are encountered when growing up and moving through life. Very powerful and highly recommended. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
cailleach
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you are an Allende fan I think you will like this book, altough if you have read interviews with allende then some of the content will be already known to you. It is a kind of memoir that reads like a long monologue, almost a chat with the author as it feels quite friendly and intimate, almost confessional.. Allende talks about what feminism means to her and about how it has shaped her life. The book starts out like a standard linear autobiography. Allende talks about how her mother marries a ...more
Wendy
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Soul of a Woman is an intimate memoir of a feminist writer, from her childhood years to her prominent career. It's a true gem of a book.

Although short, this memoir is absolutely packed with poetic and inspiring reflection from this world-renowned Chilean novelist. I couldn't help but highlight lines on almost every page of it. Allende has a gift for gripping the reader and not letting go until the end of the book - but now we know her gift is not just for fiction.

Isabel Allende inspired me t
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Sarah
Dec 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isabel Allende's reflections in this book run the gamut from brutal to tender. The narrative is disjointed and repetitive, however, which is why I did not rate it more highly. The author can gloss over the faults of herself and others in a way that is sometimes sweet, and other times frustrating. I appreciated that she mentions her discussions with her grandchildren regarding gender and non-binary folx, but her response to them also felt dismissive. I grew tired of reading the word "machismo" pr ...more
Gwen
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Katy Wheatley
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a non-fiction, memoir, written through the lens of Allende's take on feminism and what it means to her now and looking back on what it has meant to her throughout her life. She revisits a lot of the material in her previous books, talking about her childhood and her struggle as a young mother, a wife and a working woman. She also talks about how the death of her daughter shaped her thinking. I knew quite a lot of what she writes about already, having read a lot of her work and also havin ...more
Geta
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave it 3 stars for the last chapters of the book, where she discusses how women are still abused in other countries in 2020 and how far we are from making it fair when it comes to men-women equality ( rights, wage gap, household chores division).
At one point she said we can identify how violent the members of a society are by how they treat the women and I think that is true.
I imagine the book received higher ratings from people who read her other books and are long time fans. This is not th
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Beatrice
Jan 01, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read every single book of Isabel Allende, and I really loved most of them. All read in may native language , Spanish. This one was very disappointing. It sounds like some cheap Ted Talk about old fashion feminism , as if women never heard of the concept. She just states some facts about women which are easily found on the Internet, and how all men in the world are evil.
The few good stories are a repetition from her previous books about her life. It is as she wrote in the book” editors pub
...more
Julie Butcher
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
". . . the era of the emboldened grandmothers, and we are the fastest growing group . . ."

Isabel Allende unfiltered, political as hell, channeling her full on feminista. This book is her, fully and joyously. Allende.

I loved it and recommend it wholeheartedly to her fans and new readers.

Thanks, NetGalley.
...more
Jordy Pross | read.over.the.rainbow
Isabel Allende is brilliant and this memoir is no exception. This story covers topics of being a powerful woman & feminism. It is a beautiful read!

I read excerpts of Allende’s work with my high school English students and feel as if this book is so important for girls and woman everywhere.

Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jordy Pross | read.over.the.rainbow
Isabel Allende is brilliant and this memoir is no exception. This story covers topics of being a powerful woman & feminism. It is a beautiful read!

I read excerpts of Allende’s work with my high school English students and feel as if this book is so important for girls and woman everywhere.

Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
M4cGirl
I was able to review The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende for free from Netgalley and Random House Publishing for providing me with an advanced ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This story is unfiltered, political and covers topics of being a powerful woman, feminism. This book was not the usual books I have read from Isabelle Allende. Overall, I liked this book, but didn't love it.
...more
Sonee
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These series of personal essays are a window into Isabel Allende’s life, including her thoughts and experiences. She focuses on feminism and what it means to be a woman, but she provides insight into so much more. She talks of passion, possessions, aging, connection, independence, loss, and even happiness. Although I prefer her fiction, it was a delight to read.
Anna W.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, funny, feminist—some of my favorite books fall into these descriptions. I love hearing Allende describe her life, especially how she came to know feminist ideas as she grew up in Chile in a traditionally patriarchal society.
Allende’s work is a great read for those who like her works, her humor, and consider women’s rights to be human rights.
Ruxandra Jurcut
About feminism and aging as seen from 2020 by an intelligent woman
Alexandra Trs
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I`m not a big fan of Allende`s fiction, but I enjoyed this book a lot. My next read will be "Paula", also auto-biographical. ...more
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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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