It took a while for me to get comfortable reading this book. The first chapter was a little confusing, I felt as though I have started reading in the middle of the novel. After you get acquainted with who is who it goes smoothly and turns into a pleasant read. Rocky beginning, good middle, satisfying end. Worth reading.
Set in nineteenth century Chile and San Francisco, Portrait in Sepia introduces Aurora del Valle, granddaughter of Eliza Sommers, who, in author Isabel Allende?s previous novel Daughter of Fortune, ran away from her adopted family in Chile to follow her handsome young lover to the Californian Gold Rush. Eliza found happiness and independence instead with Chinese healer Tao Chi?en; now her granddaughter is looking for some of the same. Aurora unfolds the story of her life, from her birth when her beautiful mother Lynn died, to her adoption by her redoubtable paternal grandmother Paulina, to her hastily-arranged marriage to the black sheep of a wealthy South American family. There?s also the love triangle between Aurora?s mother, her opium-addict father Matias del Valle, and Matias? passionately devoted cousin Severo. In fact, the del Valle family is filled with eccentric and charismatic members, and they all play a part in Aurora?s life. Spanning nearly fifty years of American and Chilean history between 1862 and 1910, this is epic, historical storytelling at its finest. The fact that Portrait in Sepia has deep ties to Allende?s other stories makes the novel?s intricate layers all the more compelling.
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