Retrato en sepia [NOOK Book]


Una novela hist?rica ambientada a fines del siglo XIX en Chile, Retrato en Sepia es una saga familiar que contin?a la historia que comenz? con la aclamada Hija de la Fortuna de Allende. Contada a trav?s de la voz de una mujer joven en busca de sus ra?ces, Retrato en Sepia es una novela sobre la memoria y los secretos de familia. Aurora del Valle sufre un trauma brutal que determina su car?cter y borra de su mente todo recuerdo de los primeros cinco a?os de su vida. Criada por su ambiciosa abuela, la real y ...
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Retrato en sepia

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Una novela histórica ambientada a fines del siglo XIX en Chile, Retrato en Sepia es una saga familiar que continúa la historia que comenzó con la aclamada Hija de la Fortuna de Allende. Contada a través de la voz de una mujer joven en busca de sus raíces, Retrato en Sepia es una novela sobre la memoria y los secretos de familia. Aurora del Valle sufre un trauma brutal que determina su carácter y borra de su mente todo recuerdo de los primeros cinco años de su vida. Criada por su ambiciosa abuela, la real y dominante Paulina del Valle, Aurora se cría en un entorno privilegiado, libre de las limitaciones que circunscriben la vida de las mujeres en ese tiempo, pero atormentada por horribles pesadillas. Cuando se ve obligada a reconocer su traición en manos del hombre que ama, y hacer frente a la soledad que con lleva, ella decide explorar el misterio de su pasado.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788415551102
  • Publisher: Leer-e
  • Publication date: 8/2/2012
  • Language: Spanish
  • Sold by: Leer-E
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 115,949
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Isabel Allende
Aristocratic Chile is vividly evoked in Isabel Allende’s lyrical novels, in which a family’s past and future is linked inextricably with that of its country’s. A writer whose dreamy, imagistic books transport the reader to another time and place, Allende is considered by many to be the heir to Gabriel García Márquez’s lavish magic realism.


In Isabel Allende's books, human beings do not exist merely in the three-dimensional sense. They can exert themselves as memory, as destiny, as spirits without form, as fairy tales. Just as the more mystical elements of Allende's past have shaped her work, so has the hard-bitten reality. Working as a journalist in Chile, Allende was forced to flee the country with her family after her uncle, President Salvador Allende, was killed in a coup in 1973.

Out of letters to family back in Chile came the manuscript that was to become Allende's first novel. Her arrival on the publishing scene in 1985 with The House of the Spirits was instantly recognized as a literary event. The New York Times called it "a unique achievement, both personal witness and possible allegory of the past, present and future of Latin America."

To read a book by Allende is to believe in (or be persuaded of) the power of transcendence, spiritual and otherwise. Her characters are often what she calls "marginal," those who strive to live on the fringes of society. It may be someone like Of Love and Shadows 's Hipolito Ranquileo, who makes his living as a circus clown; or Eva Luna, a poor orphan who is the center of two Allende books (Eva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna).

Allende's characters have in common an inner fortitude that proves stronger than their adversity, and a sense of lineage that propels them both forward and backward. When you meet a central character in an Allende novel, be prepared to meet a few generations of his or her family. This multigenerational thread drives The House of the Spirits, the tale of the South American Trueba family. Not only did the novel draw Allende critical accolades (with such breathless raves as "spectacular," "astonishing" and "mesmerizing" from major reviewers), it landed her firmly in the magic realist tradition of predecessor (and acknowledged influence) Gabriel García Márquez. Some of its characters also reappeared in the historical novels Portrait in Sepia and Daughter of Fortune.

"It's strange that my work has been classified as magic realism," Allende has said, "because I see my novels as just being realistic literature." Indeed, much of what might be considered "magic" to others is real to Allende, who based the character Clara del Valle in The House of the Spirits on her own reputedly clairvoyant grandmother. And she has drawn as well upon the political violence that visited her life: Of Love and Shadows (1987) centers on a political crime in Chile, and other Allende books allude to the ideological divisions that affected the author so critically.

But all of her other work was "rehearsal," says Allende, for what she considers her most difficult and personal book. Paula is written for Allende's daughter, who died in 1992 after several months in a coma. Like Allende's fiction, it tells Paula's story through that of Allende's own and of her relatives. Allende again departed from fiction in Aphrodite, a book that pays homage to the romantic powers of food (complete with recipes for two such as "Reconciliation Soup"). The book's lighthearted subject matter had to have been a necessity for Allende, who could not write for nearly three years after the draining experience of writing Paula.

Whichever side of reality she is on, Allende's voice is unfailingly romantic and life-affirming, creating mystery even as she uncloaks it. Like a character in Of Love and Shadows, Allende tells "stories of her own invention whose aim [is] to ease suffering and make time pass more quickly," and she succeeds.

Good To Know

Allende has said that the character of Gregory Reeves in The Infinite Plan is based on her husband, Willie Gordon.

Allende begins all of her books on January 8, which she considers lucky because it was the day she began writing a letter to her dying grandfather that later became The House of the Spirits.

She began her career as a journalist, editing the magazine Paula and later contributing to the Venezuelan paper El Nacional.

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Customer Reviews

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( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2001

    Aurora's search for her identity.

    This is the eloquent family saga of a pantheon of eclectic characters brought together by Aurora de Valle¿s search for her enigmatic past. Aurora was born in San Francisco under the protection of her maternal grand-parents, an unconventional marriage between a Chinese doctor, Tao Chi¿en and an English women, Eliza Sommers. However she is brought up in Chile by her business-savvy matriarchal paternal grand-mother Paulina del Valle. Liberated from social norms usually restricting young girls in the stifling Chilean aristocracy Aurora dedicates herself to photography to capture ¿moments of truth.¿ The historical setting is the latter part of nineteenth century Chile as explained by Allende in a recent press conference because, ¿I believe it is a period when the Chilean character was truly formed.¿ Chile¿s brutal expansionism into neighbouring countries and bloody revolution, including stark insights into rudimentary medical practices provide the backdrop. This contrasts with the more socially light-hearted San Francisco especially the Chinese community, the stigmas confronting these early immigrants and the sad plight of the trade in young prostitutes euphemistically know as ¿sing-song¿ girls. As with other Allende books, strong female characters push back the frontiers of convention, such as Nivea del Valle who as the author describes, ¿is capable to give birth to fifteen children and still continue fighting for women¿s rights¿. Historical fact and chronological order dominate over magical realism to provide afascinating tale of the varying kinds of love and a search for one¿s identity to establish a sense of belonging in the world. An excellent read, convincingly weaving together diverse social themes that doesn¿t miss a beat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2008



    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2001


    Isabel Allende tells such beautiful stories, so richly detailed and with so many interesting personalities given to the characters. The book is so absorbing, you feel you have become part of the del Valle trama. It was sad when the book came to an end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

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