Allende’s new book ‘Violeta’ unleashes an epic South American tale


Chilean author Isabel Allende’s newest novel is Violeta, an epic tale that transports readers throughout a century of South American historical past, by way of financial collapse, dictatorship and pure disasters like an earthquake and a hurricane.

From the aftermath of World War I to the current day, narrator Violeta del Valle recounts the story of her life in an unnamed South American nation with a book-long letter to her grandson Camilo.

Violeta tells of residing by way of the Spanish flu pandemic because the youngest baby and solely daughter in a household of 5 sons. After her father loses all the things within the Great Depression, the household should relinquish their consolation in an outdated mansion within the nation’s capital and undertake a extra modest life within the nation’s rural south.

Violeta remembers Allende’s finest identified and extremely profitable novel, The House Of Spirits, which weaves collectively the non-public and the political in a saga stretching throughout a long time.

“Violeta” additionally particulars the horrors of the Seventies dictatorships in South America, which noticed tens of 1000’s of suspected political opponents kidnapped, tortured and killed, usually by way of Operation Condor, a US-backed alliance among the many area’s right-wing navy governments.

“The government was committing atrocities, but you could walk down the street and sleep soundly at night without worrying about common criminals,” Violeta writes of these repressive occasions.

Violeta’s son is a journalist who seeks exile, first in Argentina, then in Norway after studying he’s on the dictatorship’s black record.

Violeta suspect’s her son’s father of involvement within the repression by way of his work as a pilot. Much of the book includes Violeta’s lengthy, passionate, however troubled relationship together with her son’s father following a brief, unsatisfying marriage. Ultimately, she obtains contentment late in life with a retired diplomat and naturalist.

Considered the world’s most generally learn Spanish-language writer, Allende is thought for her many novels together with “Eva Luna,“Of Love And Shadows“ and “A Long Petal Of The Sea,” in addition to nonfiction books similar to “Paula,” a 1994 memoir.

Allende left Chile for exile two years after Salvador Allende, her father’s first cousin, was overthrown in a 1973 coup. Isabel Allende lived for years in Venezuela earlier than settling within the United States. – AP

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