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Allende, Isabel

ISBN 10: 0394539079 / ISBN 13: 9780394539072
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1985
Used Condition: Very Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Author's first book and basis for the movie. a best seller in Europe and Latin America, this novel is the epic story of theTrueba family starting from the turn of the century in an unnamed South American country up until modern times. Beautiful copy that is so tight it appears unread. The book has no names, markings, etc. The DJ is bright and clean even in its white portions. There is a one-quarter inch closed tear on the top of the rear cover and just a hint of rubbing on the same cover. Now protected with mylar cover. Signed by the author on the half-title page. Bookseller Inventory # 001814

Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Publication Date: 1985

Binding: Cloth HB

Book Condition:Very Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First American Edition

About this title


A best seller and critical success all over the world, The House of the Spirits is the magnificent epic of the Trueba family -- their loves, their ambitions, their spiritual quests, their relations with one another, and their participation in the history of their times, a history that becomes destiny and overtakes them all.

We begin -- at the turn of the century, in an unnamed South American country -- in the childhood home of the woman who will be the mother and grandmother of the clan, Clara del Valle. A warm-hearted, hypersensitive girl, Clara has distinguished herself from an early age with her telepathic abilities -- she can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, the fabled Rosa the Beautiful, Clara has been mute for nine years, resisting all attempts to make her speak. When she breaks her silence, it is to announce that she will be married soon.

Her husband-to-be is Esteban Trueba, a stern, willful man, given to fits of rage and haunted by a profound loneliness. At the age of thirty-five, he has returned to the capital from his country estate to visit his dying mother and to find a wife. (He was Rosa's fiance, and her death has marked him as deeply as it has Clara.) This is the man Clara has foreseen -- has summoned -- to be her husband; Esteban, in turn, will conceive a passion for Clara that will last the rest of his long and rancorous life.

We go with this couple as they move into the extravagant house he builds for her, a structure that everyone calls "the big house on the corner," which is soon populated with Clara's spiritualist friends, the artists she sponsors, the charity cases she takes an interest in, with Esteban's political cronies, and, above all, with the Trueba children...their daughter, Blanca, a practical, self-effacing girl who will, to the fury of her father, form a lifelong liaison with the son of his foreman...the twins, Jaime and Nicolas, the former a solitary, taciturn boy who becomes a doctor to the poor and unfortunate; the latter a playboy, a dabbler in Eastern religions and mystical disciplines...and, in the third generation, the child Alba, Blanca's daughter (the family does not recognize the real father for years, so great is Esteban's anger), a child who is fondled and indulged and instructed by them all.

For all their good fortune, their natural (and supernatural) talents, and their powerful attachments to one another, the inhabitants of "the big house on the corner" are not immune to the larger forces of the world. And, as the twentieth century beats Esteban becomes more strident in his opposition to Jaime becomes the friend and confidant of the Socialist leader known as the Alba falls in love with a student radical...the Truebas become actors -- and victims -- in a tragic series of events that gives The House of the Spirits a deeper resonance and meaning.

It is the supreme achievement of this splendid novel that we feel ourselves members of this large, passionate (and sometimes exasperating) family, that we become attached to them as if they were our own. That this is the author's first novel makes it all the more extraordinary. The House of the Spirits marks the appearance of a major, international writer.

From the Publisher:

Here, in an astonishing debut by a gifted storyteller, is the magnificent saga of proud and passionate men and women and the turbulent times through which they suffer and triumph. They are the Truebas. And theirs is a world you will not want to leave, and one you will not forget.

Esteban -- The patriarch, a volatile and proud man whose lust for land is legendary and who is haunted by his tyrannical passion for the wife he can never completely possess.

Clara -- The matriarch, elusive and mysterious, who foretells family tragedy and shapes the fortunes of the house of the Truebas.

Blanca -- Their daughter, soft-spoken yet rebellious, whose shocking love for the son of her father's foreman fuels Esteban's everlasting contempt... even as it produces the grandchild he adores.

Alba -- The fruit of Blanca's forbidden love, a luminous bearty, a fiery and willful woman... the family's break with the past and link to the future.

"Extraordinary... Powerful... Sharply observant, witty and eloquent." -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

"Mesmerizing... A novel of force and charm." -- The Washington Post

"That rarest of successes -- a book about one family and one country that is a book about the world and becomes the world in a book." -- Cosmopolitan

"Nothing short of astonishing... In The House Of The Spirits Isabelle Allende has indeed shown us the relationships between past and present, family and nation, city and country, spiritual and political values. She has done so with enormous imagination, sensitivity, and compassion." -- Jane Futcher, San Francisco Chronicle

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