Thursday, August 28, 2008

Isabel Allende, Portrait in Sepia

Isabel Allende, Portrait in Sepia. This is the first Allende I've read, and it was pretty forgettable. All the individual parts of this story were fine, but the whole thing was lacking. It was a little trashy, a little superficial, but the real thing wrong was that it didn't seem true. I enjoyed the early unraveling of the family history, but the latter half of the story was just hollow. The protagonist, Aurora de Valle, was a delightful child and you could see through her eyes as she moved between cultures and households and you loved who she loved. But she was unconvincing as an adult, as a lover and as an artist (as a photographer she seemed especially forced) and so she was an seriously unconvincing narrator. I lost interest in the characters by the end.

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