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The House of the Spirits
ISBN 0553273914 / 9780553273915 / 0-553-27391-4
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Chilean writer Isabel Allende's classic novel is both a richly symbolic family saga and the riveting story of an unnamed Latin American country's turbulent history. In a triumph of magic realism, Allende constructs a spirit-ridden world and fills it with colorful and all-too-human inhabitants. The Trueba family's passions, struggles, and secrets span three generations and a century of violent social change, culminating in a crisis that brings the proud and tyrannical patriarch and his beloved granddaughter to opposite sides of the barricades. Against a backdrop of revolution and counterrevolution, Allende brings to life a family whose private bonds of love and hatred are more complex and enduring than the political allegiances that set them at odds. The House of the Spirits not only brings another nation's history thrillingly to life, but also makes its people's joys and anguishes wholly our own. [via]