I think I found a new favorite author. And, dear readers, if you recommended this book, step forth into my circle of adoration.
Beginning in Chile, a newborn baby is found at the back door of a moderately wealthy family. Rose insists on adopting the child into the family, and Eliza Sommers life begins. As a child, she is split between the "how to be a lady" lessons from Rose and the cooking and healing recipes of her nana, a native Chilean Indian.
As she grows up, she falls in love with Joaquin. Rose disapproves of the match, but Eliza is so secretive and sneaky that she is never caught with the young man. However, the gold fever of 1848-49 California reaches the coast of Chile, and Joaquin catches the illness along with half of the world. Of course, Eliza follows him, and I will not summarize any more details because you must enjoy this epic work yourselves.
Allende has such an enormous grasp of historical events, places, and people, and she blends them seamlessly into her narrative. A character in one chapter will have significance in a much later chapter, a small image will have tremendous meaning. This is the type of writing that I can embrace.
Small quibble - it's an Oprah book, and y'all know how I feel about that. However, if any of her other books are half as good as this one, I will read them. Suggestions?
4.75 out of 5.0 Picante Lemons.