I was swept away by Violeta, Isabel Allende's most recent and beautiful novel.
The character of Violeta del Valle recalls a century of rapture, sorrow, fear and fleeting joy in this immensely gratifying epic set in California and Latin America. I have to remind myself that Violeta is a character, because under the spell of Allende's storytelling expertise, her life remains vividly palpable to me. More than a survivor of world events, military coups, family tragedies, and so many disappointing paramours, Violeta becomes a strong, independent, vibrant, and alluring woman well after her 60th birthday. I loved that about this book and so will you. A perfect read for full immersion into times gone by with a powerful female narrative. — Nancy Scheemaker
February 2022 Indie Next List
“Spanning 100 years, Isabel Allende recounts Violeta’s life in letters to her grandson. The author develops each character in Violeta’s life — children, lovers, and neighbors. This book flows easily and is hard to put down. Loved it!”
— Kathy Clemmons, Sundog Books, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This sweeping novel from the author of A Long Petal of the Sea tells the epic story of Violeta Del Valle, a woman whose life spans one hundred years and bears witness to the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century.
“An immersive saga about a passion-filled life.”—People
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: PopSugar, Real Simple, Reader’s Digest
Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first girl in a family with five boisterous sons. From the start, her life is marked by extraordinary events, for the ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth.
Through her father’s prescience, the family will come through that crisis unscathed, only to face a new one as the Great Depression transforms the genteel city life she has known. Her family loses everything and is forced to retreat to a wild and beautiful but remote part of the country. There, she will come of age, and her first suitor will come calling.
She tells her story in the form of a letter to someone she loves above all others, recounting times of devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy. Her life is shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women’s rights, the rise and fall of tyrants, and ultimately not one, but two pandemics.
Through the eyes of a woman whose unforgettable passion, determination, and sense of humor carry her through a lifetime of upheaval, Isabel Allende once more brings us an epic that is both fiercely inspiring and deeply emotional.
About the Author
Isabel Allende won worldwide acclaim in 1982 with the publication of her first novel, The House of the Spirits. Since then, she has authored twenty-six bestselling and critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into more than forty-two languages. In addition to her work as a writer, Allende devotes much of her time to human rights causes. In 1996, following the death of her daughter, Paula Frias, she established a charitable foundation in her honor, which has awarded grants to more than one hundred nonprofits worldwide on behalf of women and girls. In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Allende the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and in 2018 she received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. She has also received PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Raised in Chile, she now lives in California.
Praise for Isabel Allende and A Long Petal of the Sea
“One of the strongest and most affecting works in [Isabel Allende’s] long career.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Another gift of epic storytelling . . . A Long Petal of the Sea is a love story for these times.”—NPR
“A return to the time and setting of the book that jump-started her literary career, The House ofthe Spirits . . . a page-turning story rich with history.”—Los Angeles Times
“A historical love story penned in the lush and propulsive prose familiar to Allende’s millions of fans worldwide, it . . . feels excitingly new and unerringly timely for this international superstar of an author.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Love and war shape everything in Allende’s sweeping, splendid new novel. . . . This is her best book in years, one she has poured all of her prodigious passion and talent into.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“[Allende] writes with surpassing compassion and insight. Her place as an icon of world literature was secured long ago. She will be celebrated, by readers and writers alike, for generations to come.”—Khaled Hosseini
“This gorgeous novel, like all the best novels, transports the reader to another time and place and sheds light on the way we live now. Allende is a legend, and this might be her finest book yet.”—J. Courtney Sullivan
“Majestic . . . both timeless and perfectly timed for today.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“In this transporting novel, Allende is as transcendent and life-affirming as ever.”—Esquire