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Paula (en espanol)

Paula (en espanol)

3.3 20
by Isabel Allende

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es una memoria encarnada que atrapa al lector como una novela de suspenso. Cuando la hija de Isabel Allend, Paula, cayó en coma gravemente enferma, la autora comenzó a escribir la historia de su familia para su hija inconsciente. En el desarrollo de la historia aparecen ante nostros ancestros extraordinarios, oímos recuerdos



es una memoria encarnada que atrapa al lector como una novela de suspenso. Cuando la hija de Isabel Allend, Paula, cayó en coma gravemente enferma, la autora comenzó a escribir la historia de su familia para su hija inconsciente. En el desarrollo de la historia aparecen ante nostros ancestros extraordinarios, oímos recuerdos maravillosos y amargos de la infancia, anécdotas increibles de los años jóvenes, los secretos más íntimos se oyen en murmullos. En Paula, Allende escribe una poderosa autobiografía cuya aceptacíon de los mundos mágico y espiritual recuerdan al lector su primer libro La casa de los espíritus.LANGUAGE: Spanish

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Fascinante...en una impecable y rica prosa comparte con nosotros sus sentimientos má íntimos.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Hermosa y comovedora....Memoria, autobiografíca, epicedium, tal vez algo de ficción; todo está allí y todo estámaravilloso.

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Spanish-language Edition

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December 1991 to May 1992

Listen, Paula. I am going to tell you a story, so that when you wake up you will not feel so lost.

The legend of our family begins at the end of the last century, when a robust Basque sailor disembarked on the coast of Chile with his mother's reliquary strung around his neck and his head swimming with plans for greatness. But why start so far back? It is enough to say that those who came after him were a breed of impetuous women and men with sentimental hearts and strong arms fit for hard work. Some few irascible types died frothing at the mouth, although the cause may not have been rage, as evil tongues had it, but, rather, some local pestilence. The Basque's descendants bought fertile land on the outskirts of the capital, which with time increased in value; they became more refined and constructed lordly mansions with great parks and groves; they wed their daughters to rich young men from established families; they educated their children in rigorous religious schools; and thus over the course of the years they were integrated into a proud aristocracy of landowners that prevailed for more than a century--until the whirlwind of modern times replaced them with technocrats and businessmen. My grandfather was one of the former, the good old families, but his father died young of an unexplained shotgun wound. The details of what happened that fateful night were never revealed, but it could have been a duel, or revenge, or some accident of love. In any case, his family was left without means and, because he was the oldest, my grandfather had to drop out of school and look for work to support his mother and educate his younger brothers.Much later, when he had become a wealthy man to whom others doffed their hats, he confessed to me that genteel poverty is the worst of all because it must be concealed. He was always well turned out--in his father's clothes, altered to fit, the collars starched stiff and suits well pressed to disguise the threadbare cloth. Those years of penury tempered his character; in his credo, life was strife and hard work, and an honorable man should not pass through this world without helping his neighbor. Still young, he already exhibited the concentration and integrity that were his characteristics; he was made of the same hard stone as his ancestors and, like many of them, had his feet firmly on the ground. Even so, some small part of his soul drifted toward the abyss of dreams. Which was what allowed him to fall in love with my grandmother, the youngest of a family of twelve, all eccentrically and deliciously bizarre--like Teresa, who at the end of her life began to sprout the wings of a saint and at whose death all the roses in the Parque Japones withered overnight. Or Ambrosio, a dedicated carouser and fornicator, who was known at moments of rare generosity to remove all his clothing in the street and hand it to the poor. I grew up listening to stories about my grandmother's ability to foretell the future, read minds, converse with animals, and move objects with her gaze. Everyone says that once she moved a billiard table across a room, but the only thing I ever saw move in her presence was an insignificant sugar bowl that used to skitter erratically across the table at tea time. These gifts aroused certain misgivings, and many eligible suitors were intimidated by her, despite her charms. My grandfather, however, regarded telepathy and telekinesis as innocent diversions and in no way a serious obstacle to marriage. The only thing that concerned him was the difference in their ages. My grandmother was much younger than he, and when he first met her she was still playing with dolls and walking around clutching a grimy little pillow. Because he was so used to seeing her as a young girl, he was unaware of his passion for her until one day she appeared in a long dress and with her hair up, and then the revelation of a love that had been gestating for years threw him into such a fit of shyness that he stopped calling. My grandmother divined his state of mind before he himself was able to undo the tangle of his own feelings and sent him a letter, the first of many she was to write him at decisive moments in their lives. This was not a perfumed billet-doux testing the waters of their relationship, but a brief note penciled on lined paper asking him straight out whether he wanted to marry her and, if so, when. Several months later they were wed. Standing before the altar, the bride was a vision from another era, adorned in ivory lace and a riot of wax orange blossoms threaded through her chignon. When my grandfather saw her, he knew he would love her obstinately till the end of his days.

To me, they were always Tata and Meme. Of their children, only my mother will figure in this story, because if I begin to tell you about all the rest of the tribe we shall never be finished, and besides, the ones who are still living are very far away. That's what happens to exiles; they are scattered to the four winds and then find it extremely difficult to get back together again. My mother was born between the two world wars, on a fine spring day in the 1920s. She was a sensitive girl, temperamentally unsuited to joining her brothers in their sweeps through the attic to catch mice they preserved in bottles of Formol. She led a sheltered life within the walls of her home and her school; she amused herself with charitable works and romantic novels, and had the reputation of being the most beautiful girl ever seen in this family of enigmatic women. From the time of puberty, she had lovesick admirers buzzing around like flies, young men her father held at bay and her mother analyzed with her tarot cards; these innocent flirtations were cut short when a talented and equivocal young man appeared and effortlessly dislodged his rivals, fulfilling his destiny and filling my mother's heart with uneasy emotions. That was your grandfather Tom s, who disappeared in a fog, and the only reason I mention him, Paula, is because some of his blood flows in your veins. This clever man with a quick mind and merciless tongue was too intelligent and free of prejudice for that provincial society, a rara avis in the Santiago of his time. It was said that he had a murky past; rumors flew that he belonged to the Masonic sect, and so was an enemy of the Church, and that he had a bastard son hidden away somewhere, but Tata could not put forward any of these arguments to dissuade his daughter because he lacked proof, and my grandfather was not a man to stain another's reputation without good reason. In those days Chile was like a mille-feuille pastry. It had more castes than India, and there was a pejorative term to set every person in his or her rightful place: roto, pije, arribista, si£tico, and many more, working upward toward the comfortable plateau of "people like ourselves." Birth determined status. It was easy to descend in the social hierarchy, but money, fame, or talent was not sufficient to allow one to rise, that required the sustained effort of several generations. Tomas's honorable lineage was in his favor, even though in Tata's eyes he had questionable political ties. By then the name Salvador Allende, the founder of Chile's Socialist Party, was being bruited about; he preached against private property, conservative morality, and the power of the large landowners. Tomas was the cousin of that young deputy. Paula. Copyright © by Isabel Allende. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Suzanne Ruta
. . .[Allende] piles on episode and anecdote in a brilliant flood of autobiographical reminiscence spanning three generations on four continents. . . . [her] fiction often deals in flat folkloric archetypes. . .Here we meet their complex, unpredictable sources. . . .. High-flown rhetoric obscures some of her introspective passages. And yet, in her reportorial mode she's unbeatable. -- The New York Times

Meet the Author

Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Brief Biography

San Rafael, California
Date of Birth:
August 2, 1942
Place of Birth:
Lima, Peru

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Paula (en espanol) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can the book be switched from spanish to english?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book brought more tears and more insight than most books I have read. There was also a lot of joy. Her description of their family life and the abuses of life in Chile and Argentina was a real eye opener. Isabels honesty at revealing what seem to be mistaken choices in her life is amazing. Her love for her daughter and the suffering they experienced is both heartrending and memorable. A great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paula is an autobiography based on an emotionally difficult time in the author's life because she is losing her daughter, Paula to a long and excruciating illness. Through out the book, Allende's wry and ironic sense of humor lightens the tense, sad mood. For example, in the begining she is telling a story about when her father, Tomas, abandons his family, and how her mother was glad to return his coat of arms, which featured three starving dogs- an ironic reference to the blue blood(nobility) that Tomas brought to the family, then took away. The book is narrated by the author, Isabel Allende. She begins the book by talking to her daughter, who is in acoma. She says her reason for writing the book is so when Paula awakes from her acoma, she can read the diary and be fully aware of what happened while she was unconisious. She starts the story when she got a call saying Paula was ill, in a Madrid hospital. At the time, she had just published her book "The Infinate Plan" and was on a book tour in Spain, thus was able to get there in a matter of hours. She was grateful to be nearby, but was disheartened when she learned that Paula had been sick for some time, and Isabel hadnt done anything earlier. Next she flips to talking about her childhood, in Santiago, Chile. She had been enrolled in numerous schools and was expelled from some due to her strong will and rebelling to conform. Also around this timie she was introduced to the joys of story telling. Isabel tells how she believes that she was lonely, and out of lonlieness she began making up stories. Then, she begins talking about her dreams of Paula's death and how she often awakes crying. She feels Paula's acoma has lasted to long, and she cant enjoy Spain because of it. She wants to return Paula back to California, but to do so she must get her off of the oxygen. She asks the doctors to do just that, and they agree so slowly they wean her off day by day. After time in the hospital, scans ran showed that Paula has irreversable brain damage, so if she ever came out of acoma, she would never be able to read the diary. After some thought, Isabel decides to take Paula back to California. Back in San Fransisco, Paula has a hospital bed and all neccesary equiptment installed in her room, and family members are close enough to visit her in her last days. Paula's grandmother comes up from Chile to see her, and is surprised to see her in such a fragile state. Paula had significantly deteriorated, her hair, once down to her waist is all cut off, she continues to lose weight and curl up into fetal postion. Hope for Paula is quickly losing its stregnth. Overall, I liked the book, though it definetly wasnt one of my favorites. Paula's story i found more interesting than Allende's life story. I also didnt like how she was constantly switching back between past and present. When she did switch back and forth, in my opinion the transition wasnt very smooth. My favorite part of the whole book was the ending, when she describes how she had to say goodbye to her daughter on her trip to the next world. If i had to pick a moral for the book it would be a tie. I've learned that you can never take any day for granted, and to always expect the unexpected. You never know whats gonna happen, or when. So by living each day to its fullest, and never take anything for granted, you will better enjoy life, and when the unexpected happens you can embrace whatever happens knowing you did exactly what you wan
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
Paula by Isabel Allende When Allende's daughter succumbs to a disease that leaves her in a coma, the author starts to write her autobiography and reads it everyday to her dying daughter. The story reveals extraordinary ancestors, memories both sweet and sour of Paula's youth, incredible anecdotes from the family history, and the most secret whispers. Paula is, more than anything, the suffering of a mother that is seeing her daughter sleeping away towards death, unable to do anything else but to keep her memory alive by telling her stories. I loved the book and was deeply affected, since I lost a sister and took care of her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nowhere in thedescription did I see that thisbook is in Spanish. Who knows if it's good or not because I CAN'T READ IT .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book brought tears and a lot of thinking. The way Isabel Allende describe her life from the beginning is just so amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not like it kk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As it turns out, Paula- the REAL Paula- never came out of the coma, she died one day while Isabel was sitting in a chair in her hospital room reading,"Paula" to her. So sad...
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does it come in spanish?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago