In typical Allende fashion, Portrait in Sepia is crammed with love, desire, tragedy, and dark family secrets, all played out against the dramatic backdrop of revolutionary Chile. Our heroine Aurora del Valle's mother is a Chilean-Chinese beauty, while her father is a dissolute scion of the wealthy and powerful del Valle family. At the heart of Aurora's slow, painful re-creation of her childhood towers one of Allende's greatest fictional creations, the heroine's grandmother, Paulina del Valle. An "astute, bewigged Amazon with a gluttonous appetite," Paulina holds both the del Valle family and Allende's novel together as she presides over Aurora's adolescence in a haze of pastries, taffeta, and overweening love.
One of the most interesting aspects of the novel is Allende's decision to turn her heroine into a photographer: "through photography and the written word I try desperately to conquer the transitory nature of my existence, to trap moments before they evanesce, to untangle the confusion of my past." There is little confusion in Allende's elegantly crafted and hugely enjoyable novel. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The story of Aurora and her ancestors is a great one. Isabel Allende divides the story between USA and South America, and there are great characters all the way through the book. Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by Louise
This is the first time that I've read Ms. Allende and maybe due to the fact that I've not read any of her previous titles I did not have any expectations when beginning this story... Read morePublished on March 13 2004 by Kristi Ahlers
I found this book very enjoyable, it was an easy read and even if there are facts that aren't totally accurate (as another reviewer points out) this is a novel, not a history book,... Read morePublished on March 5 2004 by S. Echeverria
I loved this book because the plot takes place both in Latin America and the USA. Isabel Allende uses a great plot to tell San Francisco's history, and its relation to so many... Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004
This book follows many of the characters Allende introduced in another novel, Daughter of Fortune. I actually liked this book a little better than Daughter of Fortune, because I... Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2004 by Nicole Bradshaw
I like Isabel Allende. And PORTRAIT IN SEPIA is a good story, well told, but sometimes I felt that Allende phoned this one it instead of really working on the characters. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2004 by Terry Mathews
What a piece of work this was! I was only able to tolerate about 20 pages at a time, and I didn't give up simply because it was a book by Isabel Allende. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2003 by Leticia C Vasquez
I can't tell you that this is an excellent book, but is a good book to learn something about how is the life in Latin America, are parts of the book that it doesn't have many... Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2003 by Jorge Frid