Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Audio Book Review: Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

Daughter of Fortune is an engaging story that follows one woman's life including her journey from Chile to San Francisco during the gold rush.

I don't usually do this but I'm just going to include the description from amazon.com:

An orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, vivacious young Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Entering a rough-and-tumble world of new arrivals driven mad by gold fever, Eliza moves in a society of single men and prostitutes with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi'en. California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence to the young Chilean, and her search for her elusive lover gradually turns into another kind of journey. By the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is.

Daughter of Fortune is beautifully written. The descriptions of people and place are vivid and complete. Eliza is a character that you can't help but care about and root for. Although, I did wish she would realize what she had sooner (but that would have ruined the story, I guess). She become so obsessed with finding the man she thought she loved that she was blind to anything else.

You will learn a lot about Chile and all the foreign people who chose to come there to make their fortune. You will learn a lot about the gold rush and what life was like, especially for women and foreigners during that time. But just because you are learning, doesn't mean Daughter of Fortune is boring. There's adventure, romance, near death experiences, and lots of drama to keep you reading (or in my case, listening.)

Blair Brown, the narrator, does an excellent job. She has a Spanish (or Chilean?) accent that adds authenticity but is still very easy to understand.

Daughter of Fortune is highly recommended to fans of historical fiction. This is my first Allende book, and it kind of reminded me of books by Barbara Kingsolver, who is one of my favorite authors.

Published by Harper Collins, 1999, HarperAudio, 2008
Copy obtained from the library
416 pages

Rating: 5/5

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