Eva Luna
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Eva Luna

4.6 19
by Isabel Allende
     
 

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Las aventuras picarescas de una Sherezade latinoamericana, relatando su nacimiento ilegÍtimo, su orfandad, su adolescencia sin rumbo, sus actividades contra el gobierno, y su romance con un problemÁtico director de pelÍculas documentales. Por medio de su don narrativo, Eva Luna inventa una realidad personal determinada por la magia y el destino.

Overview

Las aventuras picarescas de una Sherezade latinoamericana, relatando su nacimiento ilegÍtimo, su orfandad, su adolescencia sin rumbo, sus actividades contra el gobierno, y su romance con un problemÁtico director de pelÍculas documentales. Por medio de su don narrativo, Eva Luna inventa una realidad personal determinada por la magia y el destino.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A woman makes love to an Indian dying of snakebite, miraculously restoring him to life and engendering a daughter named Eva``so she will love life.'' Thus begins Allende's latest novel, a magnificent successor to The House of the Spirits and Of Love & Shadows. Set in a Latin American country, it relates Eva's picaresque adventures. Brought up in the house of an eccentric doctor devoted to mummifying corpses, where her mother is a servant, Eva is left an orphan at six. Her black godmother, or madrina , leases her as a servant to a series of bizarre households of metaphorical significance, the last of which she leaves in grand style upon emptying a government Minister's chamberpot over his head. Interleaved with Eva's story is her account of a certain Rolf Carle, with whom her life will become linkedshe tells of his youth in Nazi Austria and young manhood as a filmmaker in South America. Through a series of improbable and felicitous coincidences, Eva is taken under the wing of such exotic benefactors as a street urchin who becomes a guerrilla leader, a colorful whorehouse Madam, a kindly Turkish merchant and a stunningly beautiful transsexual. Like the author, Eva is a prodigious fabulist, weaving extraordinary tales that change reality at will, making it, as she says, easier to bear. Although the fabulist's art is seen as dangerously escapist, Allende's wonderful novel, crammed with the strange and fantastical, the sensuous and the erotic, also speaks powerfully in the cause of freedom. 40,000 first printing; BOMC and QPBC alternate. (October)
Library Journal
Born in the back room of the mansion where her mother toils, and herself in service from an early age, the enchanting and ever-enchanted Eva Luna escapes oppression through story telling. Rolf Carle flees Germany for South America, and ultimately works as a documentary film maker, to escape childhood memories of burying the concentration camp dead. The two are brought together by guerrilla Huberto NaranjoEva's lover and a subject for Rolf's camerain this dense, opulent novel that serves as a metaphor for redemption through creative effort. In her earlier works ( The House of the Spirits, LJ 4/15/85; Of Love and Shadows, LJ 5/1/87), Allende's rich language occasionally shaded into overripeness; but here the prose is more tightly controlled, the characterizations defter. Her best work yet. BOMC alternate. Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''
From the Publisher
“An exotic dance that beguiles and entices.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Remarkable . . . [Isabel] Allende seems to draw characters and tales from a bottomless well as Eva Luna narrates the story of her life. . . . Vivid and passionate and human.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“With vivid imagery, Eva Luna transports the reader to an almost mythic continent where magical happenings are everyday events.”—The Christian Science Monitor
 
“Sumptuous . . . Allende’s canvas is large, busy, full of feeling, incident and rich detail.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“There is a richness of language, image, and adventure that flows effortlessly.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553280586
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1989
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
307
Product dimensions:
4.15(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

UNO

Me llamo Eva, que quiere decir vida, según un libro que mi madre consultó para escoger mi nombre. Nací en el último cuarto de una casa sombría y crecí entre muebles antiguos, libros en latín y momias humanas, pero eso no logró hacerme melancólica, porque vine al mundo con un soplo de selva en la memoria. Mi padre, un indio de ojos amarillos, provenía del lugar donde se juntan cien ríos, olía a bosque y nunca miraba al cielo de frente, porque se había criado bajo la cúpula de los árboles y la luz le parecía indecente. Consuelo, mi madre, pasó la infancia en una región encantada, donde por siglos los aventureros han buscado la ciudad de oro puro que vieron los conquistadores cuando se asomaron a los abismos de su propia ambición. Quedó marcada por el paisaje y de algún modo se las arregIó para traspasarme esa huella.

Los misioneros recogieron a Consuelo cuando todavía no aprendía a caminar, era sólo una cachorra desnuda y cubierta de barro y excremento, que entró arrastrándose por el puente del embarcadero como un diminuto jonás vomitado por alguna ballena de agua dulce. Al bañarla comprobaron sin lugar a dudas que era niña, lo cual les creó cierta confusión, pero estaba allí y no era cosa de lanzarla al río, de modo que le pusieron un pañial para tapar sus vergüenzas, le echaron unas gotas de limón en los ojos para curar la infección que le impedía abrirlos y la bautizaron con elprimernombre femenino que les pasó por la mente.

Procedieron a educarla sin buscar explicaciones sobre su origen y sin muchos aspavientos, seguros de, que, si la Divina Providencia la había conservado con vida hasta que ellos la encontraron, también velaría por su integridad física y espiritual, o en el peor de los casos se la llevaría al cielo junto a otros inocentes. Consuelo creció sin lugar fijo en la estricta jerarquìa de la Misión. No era exactamente una sirvienta no tenía el mismo rango que los indios de la escuela y cuando preguntó cuál de los curas era su papá recibió un bofetón por insolente. Me contó que había sido, abandonada en un bote a la deriva por un navegante holandés, pero seguro que ésa es una leyenda que inventó con posterioridad para fibrarse del asedio de mis preguntas. Creo que en realidad nada sabía de sus progenitores ni de la forma como apareció en aquel lugar.

La Misión era un pequeño oasis en medio de una vegetación voluptuosa, que crece enredada en sí misma, desde la orilla del agua, hasta las bases de monumentales torres geológicas, elevadas hacia el firmamento como errores de Dios. Allí el tiempo se ha torcido y las distancias engañan al ojo humano, induciendo al viajero a caminar en círculos. El aire, húmedo y espeso, a veces huele a flores, a hierbas, a sudor de hombres y a aliento de animales. El calor es oprimente, no corre una brisa de alivio, se caldean las piedras y la sangre en las venas. Al atardecer el cielo, se llena de mosquitos fosforescentes, cuyas picaduras provocan inacabables pesadillas, y por las noches se escuchan con nitidez los murmullos de las aves, los gritos de los monos y el estruendo lejano, de las cascadas, que nacen de los montes a mucha altura y revientan abajo con un fragor de guerra. El modesto edificio, de paja y barro, con una torre de palos cruzados y una campana para llamar a misa, se equilibraba como todas las chozas, sobre pilotes enterrados en el fango de un río de aguas opalescentes cuyos límites se pierden en la reverberación de la luz. Las viviendas parecían flotar a la deriva entre canoas silenciosas, basura, cadáveres de perros y ratas, inexplicables flores blancas.

Era fácil distinguir a Consuelo aun desde lejos, con su largo pelo rojo como un ramalazo de fuego en el verde eterno de esa naturaleza. Sus compañeros de juego eran unos indiecitos de vientes protuberantes, un loro atrevido que recitaba el Padrenuestro intercalado de palabrotas y un mono atado con una cadena a la pata de una mesa, al que ella soltaba de vez en cuando para que fuera a buscar novia al bosque, pero siempre regresaba a rascarse las pulgas en el mismo sitio. En esa época ya andaban por aquellos lados los protestantes repartiendo biblias, predicando contra el Vaticano y cargando bajo el sol y la lluvia sus pianos en carretones, para hacer cantar a los conversos en actos públicos. Esta competencia exigía de los sacerdotes católicos toda su dedicación de modo, que se ocupaban poco de Consuelo y ella sobrevivió curtida por el sol, mal alimentada con yuca y pescado, infestada de parásitos, picada de mosquitos, libre como un pájaro. Aparte de ayudar en las tareas domésticas, asistir a los servicios religiosos y a algunas clases de lectura, aritmética y catecismo, no tenía otras obligaciones, vagaba husmeando la flora y persiguiendo a la fauna, con la mente plena de imágenes, de olores, colores y sabores, de cuentos traídos de la frontera y mitos arrastrados por el río.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

“An exotic dance that beguiles and entices.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Remarkable . . . [Isabel] Allende seems to draw characters and tales from a bottomless well as Eva Luna narrates the story of her life. . . . Vivid and passionate and human.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“With vivid imagery, Eva Luna transports the reader to an almost mythic continent where magical happenings are everyday events.”—The Christian Science Monitor
 
“Sumptuous . . . Allende’s canvas is large, busy, full of feeling, incident and rich detail.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“There is a richness of language, image, and adventure that flows effortlessly.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

Meet the Author

Born in Peru, Isabel Allende is Chilean. She was a journalist for many years and began to write fiction in 1981. The result was the worldwide bestseller The House of the Spirits, which was followed by the equally successful Of Love and Shadows. Her other books are Eva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna. Long a resident of Caracas, she now makes her home in San Rafael, California, where she is completing a new book.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
San Rafael, California
Date of Birth:
August 2, 1942
Place of Birth:
Lima, Peru
Website:
http://www.isabelallende.com

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Eva Luna 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A excellent book. Iwas unable to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
boogiedowndiva More than 1 year ago
Why aren't all of Isabel Allende's books in Nook form?
ShelbyLynn628 More than 1 year ago
Isabel Allende wrote this book about Eva Luna who narrates her own life. This book is exciting, romantic, sad, and adventurous. It starts off by telling the story of Consuelo, Eva's mother, and about her life. After Eva's born, her mother dies and she has nowhere to go since her father had died as well. Eva lives with multiple people in exchange for working for them. As she grows up, she meets many important people in her life including the men she falls in love with. When she becomes a young adult, she meets with 3 people from her past, a transgender whom she lives with, her "abuela" and one of her lovers. The transgender, Mimi, allows Eva to stay with her and her lover, Huberto Naranjo, whom she's known since she was a child, meets up with her in the most unexpected times in her life. Mimi and Eva find Eva's "abuela" Elvira. Elvira used to live with Eva in the house of her patrona and Elvira came and lives with them. After a time Eva meets with Huberto, Mimi is furious because of the fact that they love each other and she claims she knows who Huberto really is. But when Huberto becomes a Commander and Eva meets Rolf Carle, she feels as if she'd known him for years. Who will she chose; the guerilla fighter or the German immigrant? I didn't love this book but it wasn't torture reading it. The major reason why I didn't enjoy this book was because it confused me. Ever other chapter it went from talking about Eva then about Rolf Carle. And for quite some time, I had no idea what Rolf had to do with the story or with Eva. Thankfully the end cleared up my confusion and the book started to make sense to me. I especially liked the romance in the story, for example, how Mimi didn't want Eva with Huberto but she didn't care because she loved him so much. From reading this book, I learned that no one has a boring life and everyone has an interesting story to tell, just like the stories Eva was known for telling. I overall liked this book but I don't think I'd like to read it again. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Spanish books or has enjoyed any other books by Isabel Allende. But I would not recommend this book to anyone in my age group because I know that most of them wouldn't enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
john591 More than 1 year ago
Eva Luna is an imaginative tale of personalities well developed, and life situations imaginatively described. Her humor, imagination, and ability to spin a yarn are truly remarkable. Her writing is as good as that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez--my favorite author.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
i absolutely LOVED reading this book. i really enjoyed all the characters in Eva Luna. There is a certain feeling you get when reading this, maybe its from the magic realism that Allende sometime embeds. Most of all, the richness of the characters and scenery is what makes this novel so great. I also think The House of the Spirits by Allende was superb!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wolds of possibilities
Guest More than 1 year ago
This extraordinary book, Eva Luna, by Isabel Allende, is about a girl living in South America and the story of her life. This girl finds herself in this world completely alone after her mom dies, with nowhere to go and with a talent for telling stories that was barely worth anything at that time. She has to go through hard times, tough situations and new experiences to survive. Through out her life she meets and makes friends that later on are really important to her and affect her life in every possible way. She meets all kinds of people, from different nationalities to different lifestyles. She meets a Turkish merchant, a South American guerilla fighter, and a German immigrant that makes this book a definite page-turner. Another thing that makes this book so interesting is the variety of characters and how interesting they make this story. For example, Eva Luna a girl with a passion for telling stories, a writer, and a person with a great heart always who wants to help others in every way possible. Eva Luna meets a German immigrant who during his childhood suffered a lot. Then he decides to move to South America and start a new life as a photographer. Another interesting character is a Turkish merchant who is married to a woman who can¿t stand seeing him because of a birth defect in his lip, but who is the most generous man anyone has ever met. These characters make this story a great story to read. This story is full of rich detail, and feeling. It makes you feel and understand the hard situations that Eva Luna was going through as if it were you living those same experiences. This story is very original and full great adventures and various situations from romance to revolution to storytelling. Allende narrates this story in such a way that keeps you glued to the book from the very beginning. A book everyone should read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed it a lot. it s simply excellent, unputdownable, incredible and terribly real. i loved reading it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book a few years ago, and was completely thrilled and didn't know she did House of Spirits,I enjoyed it very much, rich details, romance and a great story, I would like to read more by this author.