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The House of the Spirits

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  161,294 ratings  ·  6,569 reviews
In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies.

Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherwor
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published January 2nd 1982)
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Oscar E There is quite a bit of domestic and social violence all through the book, but the fact is that it comes as a medullary part of the structure of the…moreThere is quite a bit of domestic and social violence all through the book, but the fact is that it comes as a medullary part of the structure of the book, not to mention that violence is a core behaviour in most city-societies in Latin-America. I rate it R. (less)
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4.22  · 
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 ·  161,294 ratings  ·  6,569 reviews

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House of the Spirits started my love affair with Isabel Allende's writing twenty years ago. I remember how the first line "Barrabas came to us from the sea" left me captivated and eager to read on. In college, I was fortunate that La Casa de los Espiritus was required reading for one of my classes, so I read the prose a second time in Spanish. Allende's writing is exceptional in both languages.

Recently, I completed Allende's memoir The Sum of Our Days. She reveals that Clara represents her own
Huda Yahya

جولة لا تُنسى في بيت الأرواح
هذه رواية تنطق بقداسة الأنثى
تمجد السحر الأنثوي البراق
تحكي تاريخ الدولة الأنثى
أو الأنثى الدولة
أرض الجنيات والساحرات وعرائس البحر

هذه رواية السنوات البحرية المحفوظة في ذاكرة وراثية لا تضيع أبدا
بل تنزلق بلطف عبر الأجيال النسوية الرحبة الصدور والطيبة كعجينة تراب من رحم الأرض خصبة وشغوفة

والشغف يكاد يصرخ متخطيا حدود العقل فيما سطرت إيزابيل بتاريخ عرق عائلتها النصف مخبولة والمعجونة بالسحر
أو فلنقل
تاريخ إنساني سطرته الأرواح الشفافة

وهي من ذلك ال
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Gabriel Garcia Marquez comparisons aside, it's hard to review this book without references to the magical realism and the narrative styles of Latin America.

I truly believe that anyone not familiar with the above mentioned, would likely be a bit thrown, even put off by these influences. Still, this is a brilliantly written story, epic in its truest sense. Covering four generations of women (with a man as the common thread between them), it races through the simplicity of the old world into the c
Kevin Ansbro
"If this world is going to be a better place for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it will be women who make it so."
-Isabel Allende.

The House of the Spirits is a tumultuous epic which chronicles four generations of two extraordinary families.
The eponymous house is large: it boasts three courtyards and a Chiléan version of the Addams Family.
Imagine too, if you will, Barrabás, the somewhat unnatural domesticated dog/horse, who was ill-advisedly fed olive oil until he covered the
Emily May
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I was a kid, me and my brother used to spend most weekends at our grandparents house. And most of those weekends we would watch one of the same two movies on the good ol' VCR: Steel Magnolias and The House of the Spirits. No one seems to know the latter movie when I mention it, but it starred a bunch of impressive names: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas and Winona Ryder. My memory might be painting a better picture than the truth, but me and my brother LOVED the mov ...more

Esteban, Trueba,
how does your childhood grow?
With fear and guilt and such hard work
and a love that leaves you low.
In thoughts of grief and thoughts of rage,
and a slump of of broken land,
you will rape your heart out, Esteban,
set life to your demand.

Clara, Clara, clairvoyant,
how does your marriage keep?
With magic silent and so near,
to where your children sleep.
When tragedy has struck your home,
and the bull is in the shop,
reality will find you there,
your disengagement stop.

Humans, humans, high
Issa Deerbany
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رواية رائعة لعائلة على مدى ثلاثة اجيال وتصرفات وأعمال أفراد العائلة حسب تغير الظروف والتقدم الثقافي والاجتماعي في البلاد.
لم تذكر إيزابيل الليندي اسم البلد او المدينة التي تدور فيها الأحداث ولكن هي تشيلي في أمريكا الجنوبية التي حدث بها الزلزال الذي دمر البلاد وحدث بها انقلاب عسكري وحشي.
تبدأ الرواية في زمن الإقطاع وبقايا الاستعمار حيث المالك والفلاحين الذين يقيمون بأرضه ويعملون عنده بالسخرة فقط للقمة العيش والحب بين ابنته واحد الفلاحين لديه .
ثم بداية الديمقراطية التي كان يسيطر عليها الأغنياء ولفتر
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never in my life read a book where SO MUCH HAPPENS. AY. Generation after generation of DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, AMIRITE? I seriously don't know how to rate this book. Personally it wasn't a favourite, I found myself overwhelmed and bombarded with so much tragedy and injustice and found no love in any of the characters, but I really appreciated so much of what happened and really enjoyed learning more about magical realism.

Here's my video review of this!
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! If you look up 'epic family dramas, sweeping sagas' you are sure to find the The House of the Spirits at the top of the list. It's hard to capture what this book covers as it covers so much. The story of the three generations of the Trueba family. How their lives have changed over many, many years. Their loves, grief, joy, family, politics, greed, desires, and more. I felt that there was so much heartbreak and tragedy in this story. But I kept thinking about this one....even when I was not ...more
I did not finish this book. I didn't think it was one of the worst books for me but it was simply not destined to entertain me. There was some potential in it. But it was disjointed. I tried further than I should've, because it's a rec, and I've already got 3 likes from it, but when a book is spurned in favor of David Copperfield, that tells the whole story. Another thing that made me try harder than usual is the cover. It's so wonderful. But the book, not for me.
Nov 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foreign-language
2.5 stars, actually. (Still waiting for Goodreads to give me that half-star option.) Let's be honest, Isabel Allende is chick lit that you're not embarrassed to read on the Metro. It's got just enough faux-Garcia-Marquez, magical-realism-lite charm to fool people into thinking it's moderately intellectual. I don't have a big problem with that (as long as people realize what's going on) because Allende is a fine storyteller. This novel, her first and most famous, is a fairly traditional family sa ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
276. La casa de los espíritus = The House of The Spirits, Isabel Allende
The House of the Spirits (Spanish: La casa de los espíritus, 1982) is the debut novel of Isabel Allende. The novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers before being published in Buenos Aires in 1982. It became an instant best seller, was critically acclaimed, and catapulted Allende to literary stardom. The novel was named Best Novel of the Year in Chile in 1982, and Allende received the country's Panorama Lite
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This took me some time to read as I wanted to savour it for as long as possible and not have it end. This is my first Allende novel which depicts an epic story of a Latin American family that spans 3 generations. Weaved throughout are hints of mysticism, history, political unrest, cultural richness along with vivid descriptions of a cast of characters in which some evoke ethereal auras and others violent furies.

Allende’s masterful style of writing is lavish with foreshadowing and thematic contra
Sherif Metwaly

تبدأ في قراءة الرواية في فترة عصيبة، متخذًا قرارك مسبقًا بأنك ستقرأ لأجل المتعة ولا شيء سواها، فلا تركيز على نقاط أو تسجيل لملحوظات أثناء القراءة كي تستعين بها عند كتابة مراجعة. تبدأ رحلتك مع الرواية مرتبكًا، متعثرًا أكثر من مرة، وتكاد تشعر أن الصفحات لا تمرّ بين يديك، تشكك في اختيارك لتوقيت قراءتها، تفكر في تأجيلها لوقت آخر، وبمجرد بدء التفكير في ذلك تبدأ الرواية في اجتياحك بالكامل، تتغلغل داخل تلافيف مخك، وتلمس أعمق أعماق قلبك، تجذبك، بإيقاعها الهادئ تأسرك، بشخصياتها البديعة تفتنك، وعند النهاي
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ثلاثية مدهشة.. تصل ايزابيل الليندي في ختامها إلى سبعينيات القرن العشرين
تفاصيل حياة أجيال تحكي من خلالها تاريخ تشيلي السياسي والاجتماعي والفكري
ثلاث روايات يجمع بينهم الإبداع في الرؤية والسرد
Luís C.
The House of the Spirits, a book we were advised one college professor by telling us simply: "It's a fun book."
This advice I followed - While "few" years later - proves to be notified.
Now that is my turn, I'll try to be more explicit than has been the teacher - That I thank!
The House of the Spirits is a novel that has it all. It is a family saga with the right amount of love and tragedy, which mingles the upheavals experienced by the Chilean company in the second half of the twentieth century. T
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chile, my-bib
Há quem diga que é o parente mais próximo de Cem Anos de Solidão. O parentesco confirmou-se, A Casa dos Espíritos é um livro inesquecível.
Falar da história do livro e da família Trueba, é falar da história do Chile. Do conservadorismo dos governos, dos movimentos revolucionários do proletariado, da ditadura, da tortura e da morte de milhares às garras do regime. No entanto, embora seja evidente para o leitor, não há identificação de carrascos ou de heróis. Assim como Neruda é mencionado simplesm
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Passions, Politics, Psychics in Three Generations of Chilean Family

Isabel Allende's stunning saga, The House of the Spirits, spans three generations of the Chilean Trueba family ending a few years after the Sept. 11, 1973 government overthrow led by General Pinochet, the awful right-wing dictator who, with the U.S. govt's support, seized the chance opened upon fears that Marxists would take over Chile.

Ms. Allende', who to my mind should soon be Chile's 3d Nobel Laureate in Literature, wrote the
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
100 Years of Solitude except not boring, is what Isabel Allende's 1982 landmark of magical realism is. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's epic, it follows several cyclic generations of a family through the history of a country. But it has an immediacy that 100 Years, with its frustrating mist, lacks; the story is better. It's a better book; it's the best book in the magical realism genre I've read.

South American literature is different from the rest - no, seriously, it is, I know that's a huge genera
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
"Nana had the idea that a good fright might make the child speak, and spent nine years inventing all sorts of desperate strategies for frightening Clara, the end result of which was to immunize the girl forever against terror and surprise. Soon Clara was afraid of nothing. She was unmoved by the sudden appearance of the most livid and undernourished monsters in her room, or by the knock of devils and vampires at her bedroom window. Nana dressed up as a headless pirate, as the executioner of the ...more
Clara aveva dieci anni quando decise che non valeva la pena di parlare e si chiuse nel mutismo.
Bello, bello, bellissimo, bellissimissimo. La casa degli spiriti è uno di quei libri che non avrei mai voluto finire di leggere, uno di quelli che non riuscirò mai a togliere dai cassetti della memoria, uno dei pochi di cui mi ricordo infiniti dettagli a distanza di anni dalla lettura.
All'inizio sono rimasta stregata da Clara, ma poi è arrivata Blanca... poi era il turno di Alba. E poi, infine, mi sono
Jul 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
haha, so my sophomore honors english teacher decided he wanted to read a book with us for the first time, so he asked our department head to recommend a book. we all died, because mr. wells could not deal with talking about sex, and mr. hackling knew this, and he assigned this book. i mean, a couple of pages in, there's all this graphic rape in the fields going on! and then there's the creepy ass count . . .

i really loved the book though. it's layered, it's complex, it's beautiful. the imagery
May 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
I really wish I could say this is an amazing book, worthy of so much thoughtful praises, etc., but that would just be a lie. Given how much I enjoy good writing—and this book definitely has it all, like a beautifully crafted essay that speaks with prominent characters and conflicts between generations of families—it’s kind of weird for me to say this book is just okay. I mean, the only thing I like from this entire book is the language: the metaphors, descriptions, the lines that sound so poetic ...more
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histórica

El pasado y el futuro eran parte de la misma cosa y la realidad del presente era un caleidoscopio de espejos desordenados, donde todo podía ocurrir

La casa de los espíritus es la historia de varias generaciones de una familia, donde el pasado, el futuro y el presente se entrelazan, a veces volviéndose indistinguibles, es similar en muchos aspectos a “Cien años de soledad” aunque en mi pensar no es una copia, y tiene méritos por contar una historia diferente, aunque utilice el mismo recurso de R
Lamski Kikita
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Allende's first and best work of art. The story of three generations of Trueba women that tells the history of a nation.

During the first 10 pages I was thinking to myself that there is way too much similarity on so many levels to One Hundred Years of Solitude, but why not, since it's the bible of Latin American magical realism?

In addition to Clara, the second Del Valle daughter who forsaw the future, communicated with spirits, and moved objects without touching them, and Blanca, her daughter w
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Αν και είναι το πρώτο δικό της βιβλίο που διαβάζω, στον κόσμο του βιβλίου και όχι μόνο, η Αλιέντε δεν χρειάζεται συστάσεις. Ήταν καιρός λοιπόν να την γνωρίσω κ εγώ και νομίζω ότι αυτή η έναρξη που έκανα ήταν ότι καλύτερο θα μπορούσα να επιλέξω.
Δεν θα πω πολλά. Το βιβλίο αυτό είναι πλέον πασίγνωστο. 3 γενιές μιας οικογένειας. Μαζί τους βιώνουμε το τέλος μιας ολόκληρης εποχής και τις επιπτώσεις του. Δεν χρειάζεται να αναφέρω την ιστορία, διότι η γνώμη μου είναι απλώς να το διαβάσετε.
Αυτό που μου
The House of the Spirits has a lot of aspects I normally wouldn't even consider reading about, and I only started reading this book because it is a famous classic that's been recommended to me several times before. I usually don't like historical fiction set in a modern period, and I am very skeptical towards the concept of a 'family saga', which is the major theme here. Nevertheless, rating this anything lower than five stars would be a great injustice to one of the absolute best books ever wri ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, 2018, translated
[Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher with no obligation for a review. Also they sent it 2 years ago, so sorry, Atria! But I did finally get to it.]

How can so much happen in one book? And yet it's still pretty accessible and readable. There are a lot of characters—but the story is mainly seen through the lens of three strong women in a South American family: Clara, Blanca and Alba. They live through turbulent times, wars and rebellions, and are surrounded by violent men. Yet thr
Chiara Pagliochini
« Ogni tanto ho la sensazione che questo l’ho già vissuto e che ho già scritto queste stesse parole, ma capisco che non sono io, bensì un’altra donna, che aveva preso appunti sui quaderni affinché io me ne servissi. Scrivo, lei ha scritto, che la memoria è fragile e il corso di una vita è molto breve e tutto avviene così in fretta, che non riusciamo a vedere il rapporto tra gli eventi, non possiamo misurare le conseguenze delle azioni, crediamo nella finzione del tempo, nel presente, nel passato ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
One of the problems with a family saga is that people inevitably have to get old and die and sometimes when the best character goes the story loses its focus. I enjoyed a lot of this book but felt that when one main character left the scene she was not really replaced by any of the others and my interest waned. I read on to the end but did not really become involved in the final chapters at all. Still a good book and I can understand why it is a favorite for many people.
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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
“You can't find someone who doesn't want to be found.” 307 likes
“This is to assuage our conscience, darling" she would explain to Blanca. "But it doesn't help the poor. They don't need charity; they need justice.” 163 likes
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