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Ines Suarez was the founding first lady of Peru. If you are interested in the history of Chile, this novel is a good start. It might be recommended to students, except that Ms. Allende had at least four interludes where she inserted detailed positional descriptons of sex, which, as they were preceded by zip in the way of romantic build-up, had all the erotic force of a bovine breeding manual as told first-person from the viewpoint of the cow.

Usually I skip these pages, but as part of the book was listened to while driving, we had to bear with it so as not to miss the rest of the story. My husband rolled his eyes. The book is not a scintillating page turner, but does an honest workmanlike job of covering the basics. Starting with the sack of Rome by the forces of Charles V, the book dwells at length on the gory injustice of war. She does pop out-of-character to give you the viewpoint of one of the native war-chiefs complete with more veterinary descriptions of sex having absolutely nothing to do with the story, but as by now I was reading instead of listening I was able to comfortably skip it which seemed a little awkward.

I had a hard time liking Pedro de Valdivia. Allende showed how circumstances changed him for the worse. Just too much narrative and too little emotion, I think. Perhaps if she had been more skillful in drawing his character as sympathetic I would have been a little sorrier that he became so hard. Gostei mas nao me entusiasmou como outros livros da autora A fost prea obiectiv, ca un manual de istorie. Il libro racconta la storia di Ines Suarez, conquistatrice del Cile.

Nel complesso Ines viene fuori come un personaggio forte e combattivo, che non si lascia mettere i piedi in testa da nessuno, pronta a tutto per se stessa e per chi le sta attorno, ma soprattutto per raggiungere l'obiettivo. Nel complesso un ottimo romanzo, scorrevole e molto interessante. I love learning about history this way. And Allende, recognising that history often just focuses on the men and their story, instead shines a light on the women in this epic battle to colonise Chile. Brutal but well-told, she delves into the stories of the women of this time, and while it is principally the story of the conquistadora Ines de Suarez, she does show sympathy to the indigenous peoples and their courageous fight for their lands.

Allende also portrays many other women as central to th I love learning about history this way. Allende also portrays many other women as central to the story. Maybe it is a bit overblown and unbelievable at times and the passionate scenes a bit cliched but that's Allende and I'd prefer that than a restrained and cautious version of the same story. This almost autobiography of Dona Ines Suarez, who was a very real lady, chronicles her life and adventures from her home country of Spain, to the hard won new country of Chile.

Interesting, challenging read. Beautifully written but I found it a bit of a slog to keep up with the cast of characters and the historical scope.

It felt a bit uncomfortable reading from the point of view of a coloniser - it's great to have a strong female protagonist, but are we supposed to be rooting for her when she's playing a leading role in taking Chile from the native people? The novel is honest about the brutality and hypocrisy of the conquistadors though.

Very thought provoking. I have long been an admirer of Isabel Allende's books and was delighted to find that her latest book, Ines of My Soul is about a famous conquistadora of Chile who in the midth century helps to build the city of Santiago. The book begins with this fascinating woman's youth in Spain where she marries a man, Juan de Malaga, who leaves her in Spain to pursue riches in the Americas. After several years in Spain as a "widow of the Americas", Ines negotiates a permit that will allow her to travel acro I have long been an admirer of Isabel Allende's books and was delighted to find that her latest book, Ines of My Soul is about a famous conquistadora of Chile who in the midth century helps to build the city of Santiago.

After several years in Spain as a "widow of the Americas", Ines negotiates a permit that will allow her to travel across the ocean to join her husband. Upon arriving, she follows information of his whereabouts and travels through the Continent until she learns that her husband died in the battle of Las Salinas. Believing that her husband was pursuing gold--not war--and not wiling to accept the word of others, she travels to Cuzco, Peru, to find out for herself if her husband has died. She learns that all Spanish men were conscripted into battle and that both soldiers and prospecters share a thirst for gold and conquest.

Now a widow in Cuzco, Ines set up a business using her skills as a seamstress and cook and made a living providing for the population. While in Cuzco, she begins a love affair with Pedro de Valdivia and with him sets out to conquer the territory of Chile. The travel from Cuzco through the vast Atacama Desert and hostile territory to the beauiful hills and valleys of the Mapocho river region where the group establishes the city of Santiago took thirteen months. The court of the Inquisition extends its reach to prosecute Pedro de Valdivia--a married man with a wife in Spain--for his relationship with Ines.

The records from his trial provided much of the information that Isabel Allende was able to use in her book. Ines' perspective from the end of her life, full of the long-term implications of the conquistador's actions, and filtered through the prism of Isabel Allende's wonderful imagination, gives a response to the violent events that are associated with conquest.

The book was enjoyable to me for its historical perspective and geographical information. My favorite Isabel Allende books remain House of Spirits and Eva Luna but I would recommend this one to readers who enjoy history and adventure. I know very little about South American history, other than what I remember from a unit about the fall of the Inca empire in elementary school, and I didn't even realize my education was so lacking until I read this book.

I've read a great deal about the Spanish presence in what is now the US, the Caribbean and Central America, but somehow my education seems to stop at Panama. Perhaps this is because much of what has been written is not in English, and much of what is in English is classified as I know very little about South American history, other than what I remember from a unit about the fall of the Inca empire in elementary school, and I didn't even realize my education was so lacking until I read this book.

Perhaps this is because much of what has been written is not in English, and much of what is in English is classified as magical realism, which is a writing style I don't really care for. In any case, this book was a delight and I feel I learned a great deal. This book is the fictionalized story of Ines Suarez, a real life woman who began her life as a humble seamstress in Spain. She decided to travel to the New World in search of her husband, where she found that he had died. She then embarked on a new adventure as the mistress of the man who conquered and founded the nation of Chile.

The writing style of this novel takes a bit of getting used to, as it is written as the memoirs of an elderly Ines, with the somewhat rambling and easily distracted manner of the elderly. At times it seems to stray a bit from this style, appearing a little too organized and expository, but this could simply be representative of the elderly woman's more lucid days. There is a mystical element to this novel, but not enough that it deserves the magical realism label that it has.

A particularly interesting aspect of this novel is the insight into the attitudes and mind-set of the conquistadors, who really believed they were acting on behalf of God in bringing civilization and Christianity to the natives. That the natives of some parts of South America seemed as advanced as the Europeans was a shock to them, but all atrocities were justified by the concept of "converting the heathens.

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This book has piqued my interest in South American historical fiction, so perhaps I will set aside my dislike of magical realism, and read some more. Mais uma vez, Isabel Allende leva-nos pela vida de uma grande mulher. Aqui estamos anos antes do outro livro da autora que li recentemente, A Filha da Fortuna. A garra desta mulher, que conseguiu o seu lugar num mundo de homens, merece ser admirada. E, a bem ou a mal, conseguiram.

Words cannot adequately express how much I love, love, love this novel! This story is told from the point of view of Ines, a poor Words cannot adequately express how much I love, love, love this novel! This story is told from the point of view of Ines, a poor Spanish seamstress who sets out for the Americas in search of adventure and the husband who left her in his search for El Dorado, the city of gold.

Ines is a strong woman who chooses her own path, and while this may seem anachronistic for the s, Ines' character rings true under Allende's masterful pen. I was also impressed with the balance of Ines' account of these historical events, since she is clearly on the side of the Spaniards against the fierce and relentless Mapuche Indians. At one point, she tells her daughter, "As long as one Indian and one Spaniard are left, blood will flow.

I should hate them [the Mapuche Indians], Isabel, but I can't. They are my enemies, but I admire them because I know that if I were in their place, I would die fighting for my land, as they are doing" Be warned that this tale is full of torture, blood, horror, and gore, because war is hell, so it is not for the faint of heart. However, I highly recommend it.

There is so much insight into human nature, relationships, and the motivation for going to war in these pages. There are no easy heroes and villains, which is the mark of a great book, because it gives us so much to think about and discuss. I want Allende to write another book like this one--intelligent historical fiction that reveals the strange, dark beauty of reality. Ines of My Soul transports the reader to 16th Century Chile. Isabelle Allende narrates this novel from the point of view of Ines Suarez, an actual historical figure, a Spanish Conquistadora.

Ines was born in Spain and was young when she married her first husband, Juan de Malaga. This was a passionate romance and the novel sensuously describes their tempestuous affair. A quarrel sets a rift between the two and Juan de Malaga chooses to voyage to the Americas. Ines decides to follow him some time later, not because she loves him, but because she sees that her life may not be too fulfilling as a seamstress in Spain. She sets off across the ocean and after several months she arrives in Cusco,Peru. Here she discovers that her husband has been killed in battle.

She falls passionately in love with Pedro de Valdivia and is his mistress for several years, following him to help establish the city of Santiago, Chile. Their adventures put them in contact with the native peoples, friend and foe. She later marries Rodrigo de Quiroga, Valdivia's captain.

The narrative is passionate, gruesome, and informative. I enjoyed the way Allende seamlessly blended fictional elements with fact. The novel is action packed and sprinkled with romance. Ines is portrayed as a passionate, strong, and fierce woman. She is a character who I will not soon forget. Isabel Allende is Chile's most famous author. She is recognized worldwide for her novels, most of which are described as "magic realism" magical elements in a realistic setting. This work, however, tells the story of the original conquest of Chile through the eyes of Ines Suarez.

Her story begins in Spain in the early s. She comes to Peru in search of her husband who died before she could find him. She becomes the mistress of Pedro de Valdivia, but we soon discover she is no home-body. T Isabel Allende is Chile's most famous author. Together, Pedro and Ines and others who follow in her life and her bed conquer the country of Chile.

The role of Ines is key to the success in the early years of conflict with the natives.

ISBN 13: 9780061161537

The author is not hesitant to describe the brutality of the Spanish conquistadores, including Ines. But there is a good measure of tenderness and compassion as well. From what I've read elsewhere, most of the events described appear to be historically accurate including the prevalent adultery and brutality , with added detail to create a captivating story. The author noted, "This novel is a work of intuition, but any similarity to events and persons relating to the conquest of Chile is not coincidental.

I like Isabelle Allende and I had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it. I was pleasantly surprised when I started, to find that it is a historical account of the founding of Chile in the s. I oh-so-briefly learned about the conquistadores back in 6th grade or so, and have not learned much about any of that since. I think maybe we touched on it in high school spanish class.

The whole thing was so lifelike and realistic. A lot of historical novels are kind of romantic b I like Isabelle Allende and I had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it. A lot of historical novels are kind of romantic but this was not. This is not a book that you speed through - it's pretty slow reading, but not because it's boring or bad.

It's set up as a memoir by Ines, now in her 80s or 90s, who helped found chile.

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Naturally, while I was reading, I thought it probably was made up. When I got to the end, I found out that Ines really existed and this is, while fiction, largely based on fact. I never knew that a woman was so instrumental in founding that country and especially back then!

What an amazing woman! There are a lot of sad parts - lots of cruelty, particuarly to the native americans, who they kill and enslave. I highly recommend this book! The book is almost exclusively told in narrative without the relief of scene. As well, the endless detailing of horrific brutalities conducted against the native peoples of Peru and Chile is stomach-turn Isabel Allende is an incredible writer and I've loved much of her work--Zorro, Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Sepia.

As well, the endless detailing of horrific brutalities conducted against the native peoples of Peru and Chile is stomach-turning don't get me wrong, that's a much better alternative than glossing over the brutality entirely, as there was already enough conquistador-glorification going on as it was The world-building, however, is fantastic, and once the characters are finally in Chile, there are action and intrigue sequences that are truly engrossing.

Ines Suarez was an amazing woman and it's no wonder her life makes for incredible historical fiction. I would recommend this to anyone interested in American history. Ines' life and achievements are really not to be missed. Allende's descriptive style of writing drew me into the incredible places Ines experiences. The fictional memoir style is not my favorite, but it does allow the reader to get a sense of the kind of remembered inconsistencies that many of the memoirs and biographies of the Spa Ines Suarez was an amazing woman and it's no wonder her life makes for incredible historical fiction.


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The fictional memoir style is not my favorite, but it does allow the reader to get a sense of the kind of remembered inconsistencies that many of the memoirs and biographies of the Spanish colonizers include. I was hesitant reading a novel from the conquerer's perspective, but Allende does pay tribute to the civilizations that Ines encounters and shows that relations between tribes and races were more complicated than just Spanish and Native Americans.

I am so pleased that this book is finished at Last! I would not have read it but for the fact that it is on the list for my literature group for the autumn term. Our theme is South American literature and this is the second one that I have got through. I don't know if there are things that are lost in translation, but the genre does nothing for me at all. I don't really like Isabel Allende's style but I was hoping that this book would appeal to me more than The House of the Spirits did.

The answ I am so pleased that this book is finished at Last! The answer to that is "NO". I am going to spend some time looking up Ines Suarez on the internet and also facts about the conquest of Chile because I suspect that this is a highly fictionalised account. Not recommended by me. I wasn't very familiar with this era in South American history, so I learned a lot. As appalling as some of the events described were, I appreciated that she didn't romanticize it or pretty it up.


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As I read, I was inspired to look up people and places and battles, which further brought the story to life for me though it also provided some spoilers. Ines herself was also an interesting woman, an 3. Ines herself was also an interesting woman, and made a strong, likable character, and her story was definitely worth telling. I look forward to reading more from Allende in the future, as well as learning more about South America.

I'm not sure if it was the translation or the fact that the story is told from the point of a view of an aging woman, but something was definitely off about this book. Though the language wasn't difficult, reading it felt heavy, like I was dragging the book along. It also got a bit repetitive, attributed to the main character's failing memory. I was also annoyed by the inconsistency in referring to the characters by their first and last names.

I had heard so many good things about Isabel Allende I'm not sure if it was the translation or the fact that the story is told from the point of a view of an aging woman, but something was definitely off about this book. I had heard so many good things about Isabel Allende, and this book has not encouraged me to read more by her. I enjoy the way the author spins a tale and gives a history lesson at the same time and this is maybe my third or fourth book I've read by this author. I'm waffling between a three and four star review but what the heck. Her research and writing are great.

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I just felt a bit detached from this strong and confident lead woman character. This is a great historical novel about a heroic 16th century feminist who helped found Chile. Both factual and romanticized with Allende's trademark touch of magical realism. A must read to learn more about the Spanish Conquest of Latin America. Wonderfully written It is about the conquest and settling of Chile by the Spanish, so I suppose the violence is to be expected.

Ines is a marvelous character, so if you can stomach the brutality, its an excellent story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez- gorgeous writing that transplanted me to the settling of Chile. Gave me a good understanding of the development of the Kingdom of Chile. A glorious journey. Remembering the expression "a reader lives a thousand lives, a non-reader only one," I can say I appreciate Allende's research, intuition, and discipline in creating this work.

Thanks for letting me go along as a reader. I gleaned many things from it. De todas formas una buena lectura. This novel was a beautiful look into the life of the first Spanish settlers in Chile in the early 16th century. Written as a memoir of Ines in her old age, it travels through her life, starting in Spain and then going halfway around the world to settle in Chile. I have never read a book before that takes place in this time period in Chile.

It was brilliant to read about the foundations of Spanish settlement in America and through the eyes of a woman on top of it. Ines proved true bravery in ever This novel was a beautiful look into the life of the first Spanish settlers in Chile in the early 16th century. Ines proved true bravery in everything she did as she left Spain to find her husband who had come to gain his fortune in America.

Ines was a lively character, though she and the others did not stand out to me. Perhaps I was just a little irked by her love affairs, I have a hard time believing in lust at first sight.

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Not love, lust. I think there was a lot of lust for Ines, but she failed to show a lot of love. I believe she held more love toward the idea of Chile and all that the city of Santiago could be, than to the three men in her life. I'm just going to write it off as I don't understand lustful passions where days are filled with sex. She was telling this story to her daughter!


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  • Ugh, way too much sex for telling this story to her daughter. Stories such as these, with brave women doing that which men tell them not to do, fascinate me and this one held my interest as well. I would have liked more emotion than lust and anguish, too much severity, as these extremes just followed the timeline of history. I have authors that I read whatever they write.