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Daughter of Fortune Orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is raised in the British colony of Valpara so, Chile, by the well intentioned Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her rigid brother Jeremy Just as she meets and falls in love with the wildly inappropriate Joaqu n Andieta, a lowly clerk who works for Jeremy, gold is discovered in the hills of northern California By , Chileans of every stripe have fallen prey to feverish dreams of wealth Joaqu n takes off for San Francisco to seek his fortune, and Eliza, pregnant with his child, decides to follow himAs we follow her spirited heroine on a perilous journey north in the hold of a ship to the rough and tumble world of San Francisco and northern California, we enter a world whose newly arrived inhabitants are driven mad by gold fever A society of single men and prostitutes among whom Eliza moves with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chien California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence for the young Chilean Her search for the elusive Joaqu n gradually turns into another kind of journey that transforms her over time, and what began as a search for love ends up as the conquest of personal freedom My second Allende and it if this is bowling, this is her second strike.The first one was last year Paula , Allende s memoir of her daughter who died while in coma I liked it so much that I told myself that I will try to read all her books Her crystal clear prose, told in a simple straightforward fashion, is like a breath of fresh air and her stories about Chile that go back to the times even as far back as her great great grandparents years are so interesting that I envy her for knowing tho My second Allende and it if this is bowling, this is her second strike.The first one was last year Paula , Allende s memoir of her daughter who died while in coma I liked it so much that I told myself that I will try to read all her books Her crystal clear prose, told in a simple straightforward fashion, is like a breath of fresh air and her stories about Chile that go back to the times even as far back as her great great grandparents years are so interesting that I envy her for knowing those I only know some stories about my grandparents Also, since the Philippines has retained some of its Spanish influences, I could relate to those superstitions, magical visions and ancient Catholic beliefs The story starts with Eliza Sommers as an infant left at the doorstep of a house where Jeremy and Rose Sommers, British siblings, reside They take care of her At 16, Eliza falls in love with a young Chilean man, Joaquin Andieta Eliza gets pregnant and miscarriages At about that time, Gold Rush in California 1848 1855 starts Joaquin being so poor to take care of his ailing mother, goes to California to join the many Chileans who want to get their share of gold from that state Eliza, left alone missing Joaquin, follows without saying goodbye to her despised because of the scandal of her affair with Joaquin foster parents What follows next is a story of her search for her love, lost in the people s frantic search for gold in California.It is as if Eliza herself is searching for her gold It is as if her love is so pure and innocent that it can be compared to the sparks and allure of gold being panned by forty niners from California rivers Doubt not This Oprah Book Club Selection of February 2000 is in itself, a gem Allende says that Eliza s life mirrorsher struggle to define the role of feminism in her lifeThis is because the girl infant left at the doorstep of the English siblings grew up to become a strong willed, independent Chilean fighting for her existence under the American sky keeping that hope to find her happiness despite all odds being against her Allende born 1942 , a Chilean born, writes in Spanish but now lives in San Francisco She is said to be the the world s most widely read Spanish author Allende s novels have been translated into over 30 languages and soldthan 56 million copies Source Wiki.Her being compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez is not by accident She rightfully deserves it.With her House of Spirits , Eva Luna and Of Love and Shadows staring at me while sitting prettily in my bookshelf, I know there will beAllende s strikes soon According to Isabel Allende, the timeless tale she weaves in House of the Spirits begins with the story of Eliza Sommers in Daughter of Fortune Eliza Sommers is found in a basket as a newborn baby at the Valparaiso, Chile home of Jeremy and Rose Sommers brother and sister Rose is only 20 years old but resigned to spinsterhood and immediately feels compassion for the child, takes her in, and decides to raise her like a daughter, much to the admonition of her brother.We fast forward our tale 1 According to Isabel Allende, the timeless tale she weaves in House of the Spirits begins with the story of Eliza Sommers in Daughter of Fortune Eliza Sommers is found in a basket as a newborn baby at the Valparaiso, Chile home of Jeremy and Rose Sommers brother and sister Rose is only 20 years old but resigned to spinsterhood and immediately feels compassion for the child, takes her in, and decides to raise her like a daughter, much to the admonition of her brother.We fast forward our tale 16 years Rose has brought up Eliza to be a young lady worthy of English aristocracy Eliza has also spent time in the presence of the Del Valle family of Chilean upper class who will play a role in the entire trilogy Yet, she feels stifled in this life others have chosen for her, so when she encounters Joaquin Andieta for the first time, she is instantly smitten Andieta is a bastard child with no future in Chile and succumbs to gold fever, leaving for California He leaves Eliza pregnant, so she decides to take all the jewels meant for her trousseau and runs away from home, determined to find her lover.The second half of the novel takes place in California in Eliza s futile attempt to find Andieta While a stowaway on a ship, she miscarries and is nursed back to health by a Chinese doctor named Tao Chi en, who later becomes her life companion Tao determines that Eliza should dress like a Chinese boy so as not to be discovered, thus beginning their life in America.I enjoyed the historical aspects of life during the California gold rush Still primarily a wild west inhabited by native Americans, California attracts people from all over the world in search of fortune Chinese, Russians, Australians, Chileans, Peruvians, Mexicans, as well as people from the eastern half of the United States Because the majority of gold seekers were men, prostitutes struck it rich as well Eliza posing as a male piano player joins a traveling prostitution troop while Tao makes a name for himself as a healer in Chinatown in San Francisco.While the fortune alluded to in the title could refer to gold, it could also mean the American Dream During the 1850s, Tao faced a bleak future in China as a fourth son, yet emerges in California as a respected member of society Eliza would have been subservient to a husband in Chile, but works as Tao s assistant and harbors a dream of opening a French patisserie Meanwhile Paulina de la Santa Cruz nee Del Valle operates a successful steamship company transporting produce and high culture from Chile to California financially independent of her husband Additionally, Allende briefly touches on the interracial romance of Eliza and Tao, which would not have been tolerated in their home countries, yet accepted in a melting pot society like that of 1850s California.The end of the novel leaves me looking forward to reading its sequel A Portrait in Sepia It is supposed to bridge the gap between the lives of Eliza and Paulina with the childhood of Clara in House of the Spirits Because the second half of the book takes place in California rather than Chile, it is devoid of magical realism This demonstrates to me that Allende is a gifted storyteller in many genres I am looking forward to completing the trilogy onceand witnesses how she ties all of these stories together Hija de la fortuna Daughter of Fortune, Isabel AllendeDaughter of Fortune is a novel by Isabel Allende, It was published first in Spanish in 1998 Isabel Allende saysof her female protagonist in Daughter of Fortune, Eliza, that she might well represent who the author might have been in another lifeAllende spent seven years of research on this, her fifth novel, which she says is a story of a young woman s search for self knowledge In Chile during the 1840 s, Eliza Sommers is a young Chile Hija de la fortuna Daughter of Fortune, Isabel AllendeDaughter of Fortune is a novel by Isabel Allende, It was published first in Spanish in 1998 Isabel Allende saysof her female protagonist in Daughter of Fortune, Eliza, that she might well represent who the author might have been in another lifeAllende spent seven years of research on this, her fifth novel, which she says is a story of a young woman s search for self knowledge In Chile during the 1840 s, Eliza Sommers is a young Chilean girl raised and educated by English Anglican siblings Victorian spinster Rose and strict Jeremy Sommers, and their sailor brother John Sommers, who are expats living in the port of Valparaiso, ever since they found her on their doorstep, and taught in the art of cooking by the Mapuche Indian Mama Fresia Over most of Part I, Eliza s origins and upbringing, and her maturity are told Eliza falls in love with Joaquin Andieta, a young Chilean man who is concerned about his mother who is living in poverty The young couple have an affair, ultimately resulting in Eliza getting pregnant Soon, news of gold being discovered in California reaches Chile, and Joaquin goes out to California in search of a fortune Wanting to follow her lover, Eliza goes to California, with the help of Chinese zhong yi physician , Tao Chi en, who later becomes her friend, in the bowels of a ship headed by a Dutch Lutheran captain, Vincent Katz 2002 1379 431 1381 1383 1386 9789649198477 1392 20 It took me a long time to read this book It was not the number of pages that got to me, but the number of words Allende packs into a page, and the fact that she arranges them all so beautifully you have to be careful not to miss one of them Her writing is stunning so why only three stars I enjoyed the story very much especially the first half when it is set in Chile Later when the book moves to San Francisco during the Gold Rush, it becomesof a history of life in those times and very li It took me a long time to read this book It was not the number of pages that got to me, but the number of words Allende packs into a page, and the fact that she arranges them all so beautifully you have to be careful not to miss one of them Her writing is stunning so why only three stars I enjoyed the story very much especially the first half when it is set in Chile Later when the book moves to San Francisco during the Gold Rush, it becomesof a history of life in those times and very little happens for many pages Events which could have been tense and exciting lose something from the fact that the author makes it clear very early on what the outcome of the book will be There were some excellent characters especially Tao Chi en Allende also includes a number of amazing, strong women all remarkable for a period when women usually lived very restricted lives Then she ruined it by making them lose all sense of logic and reason when they fell in love with totally unsuitable people For me then a good book, beautifully written but I definitely liked The Japanese Lover

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