Customer Reviews for

Daughter of Fortune

Average Rating 4
( 141 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted May 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It Was Okay, and Slightly Boring

    Overall I felt this book was well researched. Although I didn't learn much regarding the time period, I did feel that Isabel Allende captured the mood of the gold rush well. The story was interesting and rather intense, however, some parts seemed too rushed while other parts seemed too slow. I also wished I could have learned more about the characters. Rather than allowing readers to get to know the characters through their dialogue and actions, Allende took the more artificial rout and tried to force their history into the narrative. I wish it were a more natural experience.

    Overall I grew very bored with the book, but I felt that the combination of the well researched history and the elegant writing style should be given three stars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2012

    The story starts off during the 1840's in chile, When a young Ch

    The story starts off during the 1840's in chile, When a young Chilean girl named Eliza was dropped off at the doorstep of Rose, John, and Jeremy Sommers home. They lived in a port of Valparaiso and she grew up learning everything she knows from Mama Fresia the Sommers cook. As Eliza starts to get older she falls in love with a young Chilean man named Joaquin Andieta. The couple had an affair resulting in Eliza becoming pregnant. Joaquin had already left to go California in search of gold and fortune. So Eliza sets off with her friend Tao Chien to search for her love.During there journey Eliza becomes very sick and suffers a horrible miscarriage. Eliza is then disguised as a Chinese boy that she carry's on during there stop in San Fransisco.While in San Fransisco Eliza earns some money by selling snacks and Tao becomes a successful physician.But while Eliza is gone rose and Jeremy are wondering where Eliza is.John Sommers then also catches on the Eliza is missing so Rose and John decided it was time to tell Jeremy there shocking secret about Eliza. John is Eliza's father. This was something that Rose and John have kept from Jeremy from the day Eliza showed up on there doorstep.John then sets off to San Fransisco to go find his daughter with one of his good friends Paulina Rodriguez de la Cruz . After a while Eliza losses her love for Joaquin but she just doesn't want to stop her journey so she keeps on moving and becoming more disguises. Eliza soon meets up with a women named Joe Bonecrusher. She is the owner of a traveling brothel that employs Eliza as a cook and piano player. The members of the group all believed that Eliza is a homosexual man from her disguise.Tao then decides to move back to china but soon realizes once he got there he missed Eliza. Meanwhile in San Fransisco John Sommers meets a journalist named "Jacob Freemont" his real name Joe Todd promises that he will search for Eliza. Jacob starts to write articles about a name named Joaquin Murieta who's description is almost the exact same as Joaquin Andieta, Eliza's old love.Tao returns to Eliza and they soon fall in love.They started to help out young prostitutes escape and start new lives. The articles started to catch Eliza's eye when Jacob the journalist started to write that Joaquin Murieta was shot and her and Tao set off to see if it was Joaquin Andieta . Jacob was then able to tell the sommers that Eliza is happy and alive.
    i thought that this book was ok, some parts of the book i didn't quite get but at the end it started to get a turn of events when Eliza and Tao fell in love and i liked how that played out.i learned that if you keep searching for something in particular something better might come along and from that Eliza was searching for Joaquin and ended up with Tao.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2012

    have not read this one yet

    This was recommended by a friend. I have not read it yet.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 7, 2011

    Not the Brightest Shine of All

    Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, is short terms is about a girl in the 1800's who decides to follow her heart and go to California from Chile with her poor lover to live there during the gold rush, hoping to strike it rich. Eliza Sommers was raised by European brother and sister, Rose and Jeremy Sommers after being found on their doorstep on day. They are from England but live in Valparaiso, Chile. Rose wants to raise Eliza ad a proper English woman, but Eliza often spends her days (and nights) with Mama Fresia, the cook. Over most of Part I, Eliza's upbringing and her maturity are told. Eliza falls in love with Joaquin Andieta, a Chilean man living in poverty. They have an affair and Eliza gets pregnant. When news of gold being discovered in California reaches Chile, Joaquin goes out to California in search of a fortune. Wanting to follow her lover, Eliza goes to California, with the help of her Chinese zhong yi (physician) friend, Tao Chi'en. She is hidden in the bowels of a ship headed by a Dutch Lutheran captain, Vincent Katz. In the beginning of Part II, Tao's past is revealed, from his early life in poverty, to his apprenticeship to a master acupuncturist, and his ill-fated marriage to a young and frail girl who dies after a brief marriage. Lin's spirit later comes in to help her widowed husband at crucial points for Tao in later parts of the book. During the journey to California, Eliza, due to her pregnancy, is frail and sick, and later suffers a miscarriage. To leave with ship without suspicion, Tao disguises Eliza as a Chinese boy, a disguise that she maintains in San Francisco where they have landed. Eliza earns money by selling some Chilean snacks and Tao becomes a successful zhong yi. Tao, after seeing the greed and brothels in San Francisco, loses most of his faith in America. Eliza sets on her journey to find Joaquin, using a male cowboy's disguise and the moniker Elias Andieta, and claiming to be Joaquin's brother. Meanwhile in Valparaiso, Rose and Jeremy are shocked to find that Eliza has disappeared. Part III finds Eliza broke after still trying to search for Joaquin; she occasionally sends letters to Tao describing what she sees in her journey. Although she has fallen out of love with Joaquin, she cannot stop journeying. In an outskirt town, Eliza meets up with Joe Bonecrusher's travelling caravan of prostitutes and ends up travelling with them as cook and piano player. Themes in this book are freedom, love, and determination to fight for what you believe in and not give up. This book was okay in my opinion. This isn¿t a genre of book that I usually read. I mostly read young adult books, but when I looked at this book, I was shocked to see the words so much smaller. It definitely took me a much longer time to finish it. At times I was confused on what was going on and whose point of view I was reading from. I also had to stop several times to go and look up a Spanish word that I didn¿t know and that impacted my ability to read it, especially if there wasn¿t a dictionary in my hand. I do like history and the time period from the signing of the American Constitution and the end of the civil war. I thought that by reading this, I would learn about some history or event that happened in a Spanish country and what I got was a Chilean immigrant going to California in the midst of the gold rush to search for gold and gain freedom. Not exactly what I wanted. I like Isabel Allende though. I asked a couple of my adult

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    daughter of fortune

    Daughter of Fortune takes place in Chile from 1943 to 1853. Eliza Sommers is adopted by Miss Rose Sommers she takes her in on March 15, 1832. Eliza has two uncles, John and Jeremy. John is a sea captain and when he comes to Chile he gives Eliza jewels from other countries. Jeremy lives with Miss Rose and together they take care of Eliza. When Eliza is a young lady Miss Rose starts to search for suitors to be Eliza¿s husband. Eliza does not know that planned marriages are going on behind her back, but she soon finds out. Miss Rose finds Michael Steward who does not wed Eliza because he has fallen in love with Miss Rose. They send him off and Eliza swears to never love another. Joaquin Andieta comes into Eliza¿s life when she is sixteen and steals her heart with one look. Joaquin is a poor man and Miss Rose despises that Eliza has feelings for him. She forbids Eliza to see him, but little does she know they have many meetings behind her back. In 1849 the gold rush struck. Joaquin left Chile for California in order to find gold to bring back for his mother and Eliza. But Eliza is pregnant and cannot wait for his return. She boards her Uncle John¿s boat in secrecy with the help of Tao Chi¿en a Chinese doctor. Tao helps Eliza survive the trip there on the way she has a miscarriage, which makes her very ill. Eliza was lucky to live through the voyage because of how sick she had gotten Once the boat arrived in California Tao stays with Eliza and helps her search for Joaquin for many days not knowing when or what they will find. This book was enjoyable at times, and seemed to drag on at others. The book had many interesting people, but some facts about them were unnecessary.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2006

    Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende is a story of romance and adventure.

    It tells the tale of a young woman Eliza Sommers who was orphaned at birth and is being raised in the British colony of Valpariso, Chile by Miss Rose a victorian spinster and her brother Jeremy. Eliza meets and falls in love with Joaquin Andieta a clerk who works for Jeremy. At this time gold is being discovered in northern California. Many men from Chile aswell as Joaquin take off in sight of fortune. Eliza is very upset by this since she is bearing his child so she sets off on a journey to follow him. When Eliza reaches California she see's the reality of gold fever and just how crazy fortune can make people become. Flooded with mad miners and prostitutes, San Francisco is a city sick with gold fever. Eliza meets a new friend the Chinease doctor Tao Chi'en who opens the door for a whole new life for her. Her search for Joaquin turns into a whole new journey for Eliza, and by the time she finally finds him she must decide who her true love really is. Personally I did not enjoy this book beacuase I am not the romance type of person. But if you are someone who enjoys love stories and dramatic adventure then this book would be a good fit for you. From this book I learned more about the California gold rush and the hardships and mental, aswell as physical problems the miners had to over come is truly mesmerizing to me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2002

    This book did not meet my expectations

    As an avid reader of Allende's other books, especially the magnificent 'House of Spirits' , I was disappointed by this book. Although I enjoyed the characters, the settings and the rich language, I found that with the exception of Eliza's resolution, that the others, Tao, the Sommers,and Freemont, were left in limbo. And the ending was a great disappointment. Is seemed as if Miss Allende ran out of steam. Or, is she planning a sequel? I'm not sure that I'd read it if she were.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    This was not the best book I ever read.

    I skipped an entire chapter in the book and was able to follow the story. I think she spent to much time on details that were not important but not enough details that were important. I was not pleased with this book. This was the first book I read of hers and so far I am not impressed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2002

    Slow Starter!

    The first third of Daughter of Fortune is very slow but definitely picks up during the middle and ending of the book. This book is rich with detail and history, however, the style it's written in is somewhat disjointed and does not flow smoothly from page to page. The ending (without giving anything away) left a lot of loose ends for the reader to simply assume how they would be tied together. It could have had a much more completed ending. There are many other better books to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2001

    Should have published it in 2002

    The 'ending' just ends! Period. Ms. Allende is a very talented writer and I thoroughly enjoyed 'The House of the Spirits'. 'Daughter of Fortune' is a really good read (especially if you commute and get regular reading time), but when I hit the last word, I turned the page and was shocked to see the back cover! There should have been an epilogue, at a minimum. Would get 4 stars if it had an ending. Maybe there's a sequel in the works.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2001

    Intense, yet lacks resolution

    Ms. Allende has a keen nose for detail and a wonderful descriptive flavor. She lacks, however, character developement and fluidity of plot in Daughter of Fortune. I felt as though Eliza's later years in California were hurried while her earlier years were described intensely. Although the melange of characters added spice to the novel, they detracted from what was supposed to be the main theme- Eliza's self-discovery. I also felt that Eliza's relization of her true love was not adequately described and seemed unoriginal in its presentation. Daughter of Fortune was entertaining, yet ended abruptly and without closure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2000

    scenery great, character needed something

    I liked the cover and the description of the scenery but I dont think it was as exciting as it could be. I didnt care for the ending and twards the end I was looking for more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2000

    3 Stars is Generous

    I may have been overly generous in rating this book with three stars, but while it certainly was not one of Oprah's better picks, it is not entirely without merit, either.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2000

    Where's the rest of the translation?

    This isn't a quick read but if you stick with it there are parts of the story that are very rewarding. Ms. Allende's writing is smart and lyrical. She develops her characters with style and compassion. Like other reviewers, I wanted to know, 'Where is the next chapter?' Ms. Allende left many relationships unresolved that give the reader cause for dissatisfaction. Where's the rest of the translation?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2000


    The ending of the book should have been just as important as the book as a whole....This book left you literally 'hanging' with it's awful and unfinished ending! I absolutely could not believe it!! I was so disappointed with the lack of imagination and creativeness that i literally threw the book away! This is not a good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2000

    Disappointing Ending......................

    Although I enjoyed reading this book, I was extremely disappointed with the ending. I turned the page, expecting another chapter....I was shocked to discover that was the end!! There were lots of unanswered questions! I did enjoy reading of the main character's personal growth throughout the story. She definitely develops into an independent young woman, capable of experiencing life and achieving happiness herself, without a co-dependent relationship with a man! A great example for many young women!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2