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|Read E-pub º De amor y de sombra Ñ Esta obra encierra los temas sobre los que giran el amor y el odio Sobre estos dos sentimientos se desarrollan los acontecimientos de la novela como en dos caminos probables que pelean por sobreponerse uno al otro Finalmente vence el amor con la fe puesta en la libertad y en la dignidad humana El inicio de un amor, el sentimiento patri tico aun en el exilio La novela esta narrada en tercera persona omnisciente El narrador omnisciente por momentos se vuelve objetivo en la selecci n de los acontecimientos narrados Toma partida por los protagonistas y acompa a los hechos de manera comprometida con esa realidad social de injusticia que vive el pueblo y se quiere denunciar En algunas partes hay di logos, o son los personajes quienes cuentan historias pero por lo general es la narradora quien lo hace One of those books that cannot be set aside to catch up on sleep.Allende s warm personality, her wisdom and experiences keepsthe reader mesmerized. What to say about this I began it yesterday evening, I finished it this afternoon It is wonderful Some beautuful descriptive phrases, tiny images which capture something powerful Gatherings of water in cobbles being likened to shards of glass, the mouth of a cave in which lie horrors as of yet undiscovered likened to a groaning mouth Simple, obvious phrases but all thepowerful for that Everytime I read a translated novel, and sadly owing to my non ployglotness this is inevitable, i What to say about this I began it yesterday evening, I finished it this afternoon It is wonderful Some beautuful descriptive phrases, tiny images which capture something powerful Gatherings of water in cobbles being likened to shards of glass, the mouth of a cave in which lie horrors as of yet undiscovered likened to a groaning mouth Simple, obvious phrases but all thepowerful for that Everytime I read a translated novel, and sadly owing to my non ployglotness this is inevitable, i am struck by the huge talent not just of the original writer but the ability of the translator This novel is of oppression and fear and cruelty and love, of rejection and loyalty and deep tragedy and the amazing thing is you are swept along by the force of the narrative not by purple prose or long speeches or histrionic decalarations but by the warmth and courage and goodness of the characters Having said that some of the goodies are quite annoying, and the love between the hero and heroine made me feel uncomfortable I tried to work out why i think it is because of the rejected lover the one cast off He is a good and noble man who seems swept out of the story without a second thought and his sacrifice unmourned This struck me as unworthy of two supposedly high minded freedom fighters That, of course, probably says a lotabout me thna it does of the two lovers.There is another gripe I would air though It is that the villains of the piece, the oppressors and tyrants, those on the side of the devils seem drawn heavily, childishly, as if in crayon whereas the main protagonists on the angels side are drawn carefully and fully with light and shade Perhaps this was intentional but i do wonder whether this results in a story which fails to address issues The story becomes very much an us and them where no real attempt is made to see any other point of view because it is presented that if you are not a fighter, slaving for the poor and the oppressed you are either senile, as the old folk in the nursing home run by Irene s mother, a blind egoist like the aforementioned mother or evil rapacious murderers like the rotten military This simplistic division surely does not address the struggles many would encounter in such horrendous circumstances I realize Allende knows everything about such things and I know nothing but surely those who keep their heads down, their noses clean , they may not be able to be declared courageous or noble or heroic but i feel it is an injustice unworthy of a story of oppresson and discrimination to automatically dismiss them as therefore on the side of the oppressors Fear and cruelty spur some on to betrayal and cowardce, some to nobilty and sacrfice but most presumably to paralysis and terror We encountered only heroes heroines or bastards and these latter were painted in nothing but blood I wonder if the story might have benefited from a touch of the normal men and women who walk not on the high mountains of daring deeds and not in the subterranean passages of torture and murder but those who spend their lives dodging bullets not as they move from brave acts of sabotage to even braver acts of opposition but just those who have to dodge to move from workplace to home so as to provide for those they love in the best way they canchokengtitiktitikchokeng Excuse the relaunch but I came across this review today and was conscious that it was one big blob of words, no paragraphs This made it really difficulty to actually read and that was from the bloke who wrote it I carry our nation wherever I go, and the oh so far away essences of my elongated homeland live within me Pablo NerudaEarlier this year I rediscovered the magic of Isabel Allende when I savored every page of her new book Long Petal of the Sea A return to her roots, the book with the sparkling blue cover paid homage to her homeland, an element that had been missing from most of her recent books, that she has written while living in California Currently, one of my book clubs is reading this n I carry our nation wherever I go, and the oh so far away essences of my elongated homeland live within me Pablo NerudaEarlier this year I rediscovered the magic of Isabel Allende when I savored every page of her new book Long Petal of the Sea A return to her roots, the book with the sparkling blue cover paid homage to her homeland, an element that had been missing from most of her recent books, that she has written while living in California Currently, one of my book clubs is reading this new opus, and I am participating in the discussion,as an Allende expert than a current reader, filling the other readers in with the gaps they may have missed by not reading her other masterful works A spark lit in me to readabout the story that is 20th century Chile If Long Petal of the Sea glorifies the land that Spanish refugees must have felt after arriving after the Civil War, then Of Love and Shadows uncovers the corruption and brutality of the military regime that overtook the nation three decades later Of Love and Shadows is a classic Allende story, the tale of the Chilean citizens of all walks of life brave enough to speak up against Pinochet s dictatorship Irene Beltran had no reason to denounce the current government She grew up the only child of upper class citizens Eusebio Beltran and Beatriz Alc ntara and was promised to be married to her cousin army captain Gustavo Morante from the time that they were kids The Beltran Alc ntara home was not as blissful as an upper class existence could be, the parents always fighting and detesting each other s presence, Beatriz living in her own reality, and the housekeeper, the indefatigable Rosa running the home Irene grew up doted on by her father, loved and cherished by Rosa, and was a mere presence in the life of her mother Beatriz Alc ntara cheered the military regime from day one, believing that the order of the institution would put down the insurrections foisted upon Chile by the previous communist run government Living in a mansion, Beatriz was in her own bubble, oblivious to the long lines to buy basic staples and the desaparecidos who the military had no knowledge of where they went As long as she had her wealth and luxurious lifestyle, Beatriz would support the dictatorship Irene had other ideas she decided to become a journalist, opening her eyes to the atrocities going on in both Santiago and country Beatriz, ensconced in her mansion, had no idea the depths and breaths of her daughter s profession She believed that her daughter was of good stock and that she would marry Gustavo Morante, furthering the family s good name In her heart of hearts, Beatriz Alc ntara did love her daughter to desire that she bettered herself in life, which is why she looked down upon the profession of journalism as middle class All parents want the best for their children, especially the Leal family, who had escaped Spain in the throes of war and made a new home for themselves in Chile, which connects Of Love and Shadows to Long Petal of the Sea through a web of motifs that crop up throughout Allende s writing Professor Leal found a job teaching at the university, and his wife Hilda ran an impeccable home, loving her three sons from the bottom of her heart While she had much pride in her older sons Javier and Jose, the biggest place in her heart was for her son Francisco The two enjoyed the opposite relationship of that of Beatriz and Irene, and, while the Leal home was not opulent, it permeated with love It was Hilda who encouraged Francisco to try his hand at photography when his psychology clinic faltered, as though she could tell in the stars what the future held for her beloved son It is strong peripheral female characters like Hilda and Rosa who permeate Allende s writing and set the wheels in motion for an epic story As fate would have it, Francisco Leal went to work at the magazine where Irene Beltran was a prominent journalist He grew smitten with her from day one, another element to the best of Allende s stories forbidden romance Irene, initially holding her emotions close to the best, requests that Francisco photograph all of her stories After covering the story of Evangelina Ranquileo, a fifteen year old country girl who is known to have healing powers, the new couple witnesses atrocities perpetuated by the military and are determined to bring the years of terror brought on by the dictatorship to light The fate of Ranquileo and all those associated with her as well as countless other desaparecidos, cement the relationship of Francisco and Irene Hilda and Rosa knew it was fate from day one, and only Beatriz remained oblivious to her daughter s true station in life To Beatriz Alc ntara, her daughter was an upper class young woman betrothed to a military officer, not a magazine reporter who, along with her true love, was determined to take down a corrupt regime Of Love and Shadows is not for the faint of heart Allende, the niece of deposed Chilean President Salvador Allende, wrote this book while in exile in Caracas, Venezuela By that point, some of the brutality and atrocities brought on the people of Chile by the Pinochet regime had been exposed by brave journalists much like Irene Beltran Allende herself, although she had already published House of the Spirits, had worked as a journalist and did not think of herself as an established author Much of Irene Beltran s story is her own, even some of the romantic elements The peripheral characters who crop up, Allende knew people like all of them The priests, lead by Francisco s brother Jose, who ran a network to help political dissidents to escape the hairdresser Mario, who has a colorful personality and is Irene s biggest ally the retired actress Josephine Bianchi, who treated Irene like her own daughter These characters make up the backbone of this book, although none is as brave as Irene, making me appreciate Allende as a person before she became an established writer in an even greater light With her family pedigree and chosen profession, it is a miracle that she survived in Pinochet s Chile until the family went into exile, thankfully so that she could write the stories of her homeland Of Love and Shadows is another of Allende s books that is her bread and butter, paying homage to the people and landscape that comprise the nation of Chile Many of the exiles who denounced the military returned to Spain, some to the United States The Allende family first moved to Venezuela, and then to California While Isabel became well known as a writer after living in California for many years, her gold standard stories as the ones she wrote while she still considered Chile to be her permanent home The same themes and motifs connect the stories that tell the tale of 20th century Chile, the consequences for those who immigrated, emigrated, remained, and left While darker than Long Petal of the Sea, Of Love and Shadows is a brave story that had to be told It is among one of Allende s best that she wrote while exiled with one foot still in the nation that is the long petal of the sea at the end of the world 4.5 stars my most favourite isabel allende novel i would learn another language just for the pleasure of reading her in her native tongue if the translation is so beautiful i can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be in spanish i have to explain that i review the books i have read not on their objective merit but on the ways in which they speak to me of love and shadows weaves a love story into the middle of a frightening political situation that is disturbingly real precisely because it has been my most favourite isabel allende novel i would learn another language just for the pleasure of reading her in her native tongue if the translation is so beautiful i can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be in spanish i have to explain that i review the books i have read not on their objective merit but on the ways in which they speak to me of love and shadows weaves a love story into the middle of a frightening political situation that is disturbingly real precisely because it has been and still is a reality for nations all over the globe and most notoriously in latin america yes, the love irene and francisco have for each other is incredible, but the intense beauty of the novel shines through in so many of the characters, differing in their motives perhaps but so real in their intricacies allende s gift is capturing the complexity of such political and social situations without reducing them to simple dichotomies of good vs evil her writing is intensely beautiful and poetic, stirring the imagination as her plot lines move the soul