ISABEL ALLENDE’S, “EVA LUNA.”

The first half of Ms. Allende’s novel is somewhat erratic, a bunch of stories that seem unconnected…except for narrator, Eva Luna, who does not even take part in some of the stories.

So you ask, What keeps me reading this book that at times seems disconnected? The answer: a group of characters that are so unbelievable, interesting, and original that I never considered putting the book down and couldn’t stop reading.

I believe, that characters are what drive a story and in the end, as some time has passed, you remember the characters more than the story. I call it the “Michael Corleone Syndrome.” When I have asked Godfather 1 and 2 enthusiasts what they remember about the stories they always say Michael Corleone or Vito Corleone and seem to skip over my question about the story and plot.

In the first half of “Eva Luna,” and throughout the book the characters might not be up to the “Michael Corleone standard” but they are not far behind. The Professor, for example, is a man who wants to cure cancer but since almost all his patients die he decides to embalm them and put them in a seperate room in the house that is like a museum.

The plump but pretty sisters, who have thrown tradition to the wind, decide to fulfill their passions by a having threesomes with their cute cousin. It’s simply the pleasure of the whole thing and they follow the Freudian theory of the pleasure principle to the extreme without any qualms.

Eva mother’s was impregnated by a dying man who at the time when she was cleaning his soiled body she noticed he had an erection, and not one to deny a dying man his wish she has sex with the man and that all it takes to get her pregnant with the wonderful Eva. The man died right after the ejuculation.

These are just a few on the characters, and when we come across them in the second half of the novel, at times a hundred and fifty pages later, you have no problem remembering any of them. It is in the second half of this beautiful, character driven novel that it all comes together. This is a wonderful novel, true to my ‘Michael Corleone Syndrome.’

4 thoughts on “ISABEL ALLENDE’S, “EVA LUNA.”

  1. You are quite right the characters drive the story. For instance, I remember Nicolas Hel and Le Cagot readily, but it takes a while until I come up with Trevanian’s title, “Shibumi.” The title then becomes the catalyst to explaining the plot to an interlocutor. At first I ascribed it to the weight of passing years, but that was only an excuse. I now more certain it’s the rule rather than the exception.

    Thanks for posting about Allende’s work. Because of her involvement with politics I tend to bypass her novels. I believe I will take a look at this one, prepared now to deal with some of the shocking scenes. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dan: I agree with you about her politics. There are always jabs in her work about the United States, as though we are responsible for the world’s ills. But to me, it is always her characters that draw me back to her work. They are quite unforgettable. And like so many writers who blame the U.S. for everything, she now lives in California, so our capitalistic society isn’t all that bad, compared to her native Chile.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As you probably know, I spent 35 years practicing political neutrality due to the exigencies of my profession. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a personal opinion. I did and I still do. The casual observer might take a hint on which way my political winds blow, when s/he realizes those 35 years of political abstention were spent in the service of our country.

        Allende, like her father and a large portion of the Latin American elites show with pride their anti-US politics, oftentimes blaming our country for all the ills of the world, deservedly or not. I, on the other hand, appreciate good art, especially good writing.

        Although Allende might never reach the heights of Gabriel Garcia Márquez, I still use his writing as a litmus test which she has tried very hard to emulate. Gabo, as they call him in Latin American literary circles was also critical of the US, although I suspected it was a commercial accommodation.

        Definitely, I will look at Allende’s book.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that is a very good approach, and I hold your opinion very highly, especially since of your many years of service to our country and also because you’re a really good writer and you like to read and write reviews. I also find it an affront to me when people express such negative opinions of our country and yet have no problem using our system of government and freedom to live luxury lifestyles right here in the country where they find so much fault. I also agree with you about Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Amazing writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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