Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Review: Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages: 432 pgs
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound
Summary from publisher:
An orphan raised in Valparaíso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, young, vivacious Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. She enters a rough-and-tumble world whose newly arrived inhabitants are driven mad by gold fever. With the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi'en, Eliza moves freely in a society of single men and prostitutes, creating an unconventional but independent life for herself. The young Chilean's search for her elusive lover gradually turns into another kind of journey, and by the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is.
I first read Daughter of Fortune when it was an Oprah book back in 2000. I was a Freshman in high school and it was one of my favorite books. It’s curious to see if your perception of books changes as you get older and I was happy to say that I loved this one as much now as I did then.
Eliza has been one of my favorite literary characters since I read this book the first time. She is among the elite with Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Shirley. Eliza was one of those rare characters that come through so vividly on the page that it is hard to forget them. She was so strong and spirited. She was also very much the normal teenage girl obsessed with her first love. I do have to admit that, even the second time around, the relationship between Eliza and Tao was a major drawing point for me.
The writing was beautiful and the descriptions were vivid. No one can capture a scene like Isabel Allende. Writers should really take a good look at Isabel Allende’s books to learn how to write a good description. I was a bit iffy about the ending and I wanted more of a concrete ending between Eliza and Tao. I can’t wait to start Portrait in Sepia—I had no idea it was the sequel to Daughter of Fortune and it has been sitting on my shelf for years.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.