Violeta by Isabel Allende tells the story of a woman’s turbulent life, through letters she’s writing her grandson. Isabel Allende is a Chilean-American novelist, is known for focusing on women’s experiences, especially in Latin America.
- 336 pages
- Publisher : Ballantine Books
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0593496205
I always enjoy books by Isabel Allende, some more than others as we all do undeniably. Violeta is, generally speaking, no different than the others. The book is a well written and insightful, about a fascinating culture I know very little about.
Violeta’s grandson, a troubled teen now a Jesuit priest, is the person she tells her life story to. Violeta was born in Chile (I assume) during the Spanish Flu, and is recounting her story during the times of COVID. A life lived from one pandemic to the next. Throughout she recounts her love affairs, two world wars, military coup, dictatorship, torture and murder of friends, family, abusive partners, and lastly living in peace with the love of her life.
As in other books of Ms. Allende, the theme is that of strong women, and certainly women’s rights. Violeta has a good head on her shoulders, doesn’t leave it up to her husband, family, or partner, to support her. She always makes sure that she gets a legitimate slice of the pie, always on the lookout for opportunities, while being cognizant of the suffering of other women. Thinking she is a strong, independent woman, in the twilight of her life Violeta realizes that she, also, was a victim of abuse and manipulation, even though she didn’t realize it at the time.
Altogether, Violeta was a solid 4 star book, until the last paragraph. That one, spoiler below, certainly put the book in a whole new perspective.
At the end, I was left wondering, if the whole book took place in the mind of Violeta on her deathbed. For the whole narrative I believed it was Violeta writing letters to Camilo. However, the last page made me think she was seeing her life pass her by just before her death. A fascinating, well-written, ending which put the whole book in a different perspective.
Violeta was born in 1920, the first daughter born to a family, who have five sons, in the midst of the Spanish Flu. Violeta was lives through extraordinary events, from World Wars, family tragedy, loves, lost, political turmoil, as well as women’s rights.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
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