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CriticasWell-loved novelist Allende has always drawn from her personal life and family history in her writing, adding richness and detail to novels like Eva Luna (Rayo, 2001) and Hija de la fortuna (Daughter of Fortune, Rayo, 2002). In this newest work, she once again invites readers into her heart and mind, revealing the seeds of her novels and her impetus to write. Allende's memory guides this leisurely amble through worm holes in her personal history, focusing on her nostalgia for her lost country, Chile. After the 1973 military coup that ended her uncle's presidency and life, Allende went into exile and was forced to create a new homeland in her imagination. This memoir reads like a casual interview in which the acclaimed author explains everything from the history and geography of her native country to how she fell in love with an American in San Francisco. Admittedly subjective and even reveling in her bias when discussing Chilean society, its politics, and the national temperament, Allende is unfalteringly honest and engaging. Diehard fans will be interested in this fireside title, but the book lacks the substance and power of her first memoir, Paula (Rayo, 1996). The poignant storytelling is absent here mainly because Allende has already told this story in other books. Recommended for bookstores and libraries with large Spanish-language collections.
—Salwa C. Jabado, New York City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.