Eva Luna: A Novel

Eva Luna: A Novel

by Isabel Allende

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Meet New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende’s most enchanting creation, Eva Luna: a lover, a writer, a revolutionary, and above all a storyteller.

Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant and a snake-bitten gardener—born poor, orphaned at an early age, and working as a servant. Eva is a naturally gifted and imaginative storyteller who meets people from all stations and walks of life. Though she has no wealth, she trades her stories like currency with people who are kind to her. In this novel, she shares the story of her own life and introduces readers to a diverse and eccentric cast of characters including the Lebanese émigré who befriends her and takes her in; her unfortunate godmother, whose brain is addled by rum and who believes in all the Catholic saints and a few of her own invention; a street urchin who grows into a petty criminal and, later, a leader in the guerrilla struggle; a celebrated transsexual entertainer who instructs her in the ways of the adult world; and a young refugee whose flight from postwar Europe will prove crucial to Eva's fate.

As Eva tells her story, Isabel Allende conjures up a whole complex South American nation—the rich, the poor, the simple, and the sophisticated—in a novel replete with character and incident, with drama and comedy and history, with battles and passions, rebellions and reunions, a novel that celebrates the power of imagination to create a better world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501117084
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 166,818
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, The Stories of Eva Luna, Paula, and The Japanese Lover. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and have sold more than 65 million copies worldwide. She is the receipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and she divides her time between California and Chile.

Hometown:

San Rafael, California

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1942

Place of Birth:

Lima, Peru

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Eva Luna 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
the_awesome_opossum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eva Luna is a young girl in Chile who has grown up without many boundaries beyond survival. Her conception was by chance and her father was never in her life, her mother died young, and from then on Eva bounces among employers and whoever will give her shelter, learning life on the fly as a matter of necessity. But as she becomes caught in the machinations of guerrilla warfare, her personality and sense of self solidifies in response to the determination and purpose of the fighters.Allende does better atmospheric writing than plot-driven, as there were points at which I felt closer to the setting of the town and its cadence than I did to Eva herself. This novel has been described as picaresque, but I think it is better understood as its inverse: rather than setting and situation being tools to showcase character development, Eva's development seems to showcase her settings and cultural situation - or at least, that is how I was engaged by the book. Interesting way to tell a story, but I felt it wasn't wholly successful with so little story to have been told.
lauralkeet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"There is no death, daughter. People die only when we forget them," my mother explained shortly before she left me. "If you can remember me, I will be with you always." (p. 43)Eva Luna was born in Chile to a young single woman named Consuela, who died when Eva was only six years old. Eva's godmother accepted responsibility for Eva's welfare, immediately placing her into service. She spent several years working in one home where she became close to another servant, Elvira, who was like a mother to her. Elvira taught Eva Luna an important lesson: "You have to fight back. No one tries anything with mad dogs, but tame dogs they kick. Life's a dogfight." (p. 69)Eva Luna took this advice to heart, and grew up a strong and independent woman. She worked in a variety of situations, from a red light district to a remote mountain village. Throughout her life she had been an expert storyteller; as an adult she returned to the city and was able to use this talent to make a living. She reconnected with characters from her past, including a revolutionary named Huberto Naranjo. Huberto had helped her find shelter as a young girl, and through him she became embroiled in the country's tumultuous political environment. There was a lot going on in this book, but it didn't quite work as well as I'd hoped. I love Isabel Allende's writing -- her prose is wonderfully descriptive, and brings her homeland to life. She creates fascinating characters, and situations bordering on magical realism (something I normally hate, but Allende remains safely on the edges). So I enjoyed reading this book, but at the same time I found the story preposterous, particularly as the once-illiterate Eva begins to make a living as a television screenwriter. And some of her romantic entanglements seemed far-fetched.Allende fans will find this a good read, but those unfamiliar with her work should start with a different book, like The House of the Spirits.
estellen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Eva Luna, but not as much as House of Spirits. It felt like a combination of House of Spirits and My Invented Country - Allende is rarely unique in her phrasing or plot.
akeela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For me, this was an impressive introduction to Allende¿s flamboyant storytelling ability. For those who enjoy a colorful tale blended with a healthy dose of magical realism, this is a book to savor.
pokarekareana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It started out beautifully, dripping with Allende's skill for storytelling, and evoking a rebellious, impassioned Latin spirit rarely seen in literature. Sadly, it runs out of steam towards the end. The last fifty pages were quite difficult to get through, because I had lost interest as the story reached its climax. The characters were intriguing, and the action was compelling through the majority of the book; the ending let the whole book down and I didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as Allende's other work. A bit disappointing.
bastet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A truly beautiful story of a woman who lives several lives ranging from near slave to the mistress of a military dictator. Beautifully written.
Irisheyz77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first book by Allende that I ever read and I feel in love with her style of writing. Eva Luna is beautifully told and takes you on an incredible journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable but not my favorite of Allenda’s novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A excellent book. Iwas unable to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
boogiedowndiva More than 1 year ago
Why aren't all of Isabel Allende's books in Nook form?
ShelbyLynn628 More than 1 year ago
Isabel Allende wrote this book about Eva Luna who narrates her own life. This book is exciting, romantic, sad, and adventurous. It starts off by telling the story of Consuelo, Eva's mother, and about her life. After Eva's born, her mother dies and she has nowhere to go since her father had died as well. Eva lives with multiple people in exchange for working for them. As she grows up, she meets many important people in her life including the men she falls in love with. When she becomes a young adult, she meets with 3 people from her past, a transgender whom she lives with, her "abuela" and one of her lovers. The transgender, Mimi, allows Eva to stay with her and her lover, Huberto Naranjo, whom she's known since she was a child, meets up with her in the most unexpected times in her life. Mimi and Eva find Eva's "abuela" Elvira. Elvira used to live with Eva in the house of her patrona and Elvira came and lives with them. After a time Eva meets with Huberto, Mimi is furious because of the fact that they love each other and she claims she knows who Huberto really is. But when Huberto becomes a Commander and Eva meets Rolf Carle, she feels as if she'd known him for years. Who will she chose; the guerilla fighter or the German immigrant? I didn't love this book but it wasn't torture reading it. The major reason why I didn't enjoy this book was because it confused me. Ever other chapter it went from talking about Eva then about Rolf Carle. And for quite some time, I had no idea what Rolf had to do with the story or with Eva. Thankfully the end cleared up my confusion and the book started to make sense to me. I especially liked the romance in the story, for example, how Mimi didn't want Eva with Huberto but she didn't care because she loved him so much. From reading this book, I learned that no one has a boring life and everyone has an interesting story to tell, just like the stories Eva was known for telling. I overall liked this book but I don't think I'd like to read it again. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Spanish books or has enjoyed any other books by Isabel Allende. But I would not recommend this book to anyone in my age group because I know that most of them wouldn't enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
john591 More than 1 year ago
Eva Luna is an imaginative tale of personalities well developed, and life situations imaginatively described. Her humor, imagination, and ability to spin a yarn are truly remarkable. Her writing is as good as that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez--my favorite author.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
i absolutely LOVED reading this book. i really enjoyed all the characters in Eva Luna. There is a certain feeling you get when reading this, maybe its from the magic realism that Allende sometime embeds. Most of all, the richness of the characters and scenery is what makes this novel so great. I also think The House of the Spirits by Allende was superb!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wolds of possibilities
Guest More than 1 year ago
This extraordinary book, Eva Luna, by Isabel Allende, is about a girl living in South America and the story of her life. This girl finds herself in this world completely alone after her mom dies, with nowhere to go and with a talent for telling stories that was barely worth anything at that time. She has to go through hard times, tough situations and new experiences to survive. Through out her life she meets and makes friends that later on are really important to her and affect her life in every possible way. She meets all kinds of people, from different nationalities to different lifestyles. She meets a Turkish merchant, a South American guerilla fighter, and a German immigrant that makes this book a definite page-turner. Another thing that makes this book so interesting is the variety of characters and how interesting they make this story. For example, Eva Luna a girl with a passion for telling stories, a writer, and a person with a great heart always who wants to help others in every way possible. Eva Luna meets a German immigrant who during his childhood suffered a lot. Then he decides to move to South America and start a new life as a photographer. Another interesting character is a Turkish merchant who is married to a woman who can¿t stand seeing him because of a birth defect in his lip, but who is the most generous man anyone has ever met. These characters make this story a great story to read. This story is full of rich detail, and feeling. It makes you feel and understand the hard situations that Eva Luna was going through as if it were you living those same experiences. This story is very original and full great adventures and various situations from romance to revolution to storytelling. Allende narrates this story in such a way that keeps you glued to the book from the very beginning. A book everyone should read.