Pin It
Favorite

Book Review-Portrait in Sepia 

by Kris Dinnison


Isabel Allende has a knack for luring the reader into unfamiliar worlds and then making the magical seem familiar. Her books are peopled by diverse and complex characters whose quests for meaning seem to connect effortlessly to those same desires in her readership. Her newest novel, Portrait in Sepia, is no exception.


The novel is a sequel to Allende's last book, Daughter of Fortune. Set during the California Gold Rush, Daughter told of the daring journey of Eliza Sommers, a young pregnant woman from Chile who came to California in search of her lover and found instead the love of her life, a Chinese healer named Tao Chi'en. Portrait in Sepia takes up the story of the granddaughter of this unique couple, Aurora Del Valle. After a tragic childhood in San Francisco's Chinatown, Aurora finds herself the ward of her paternal grandmother, Paulina Del Valle. The ensuing story is one of two strong women at the end of the 19th century and the ways that they carefully pick their way around society's expectations in order to grow. But the story is not only theirs. Allende cleverly introduces us to the idea that most of the men and women of the time were struggling to find their places in a turbulent world.


The relationships between the families and their various members are, as in all of Allende's books, complex. Fans of The House of the Spirits, one of Allende's early books, will smile when they get to know Severo and Nivea Del Valle, the parents of Clara the clairvoyant, and Rosa, her beautiful and tragic green-haired sister. However, in spite of all the twists, turns and weaves that tie the various characters together, their relationships never appear contrived or manipulated. Portrait in Sepia is another luxurious read from this talented author.





Have a book you think deserves mention in this space? Let us know at [email protected]

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Cherry Pitfalls
  • Cherry Pitfalls

    Why fruit is rotting on trees while workers wait at the border
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • The Real Threats
  • The Real Threats

    What worries Spokane's sheriff; plus, Washington's lawmakers finally hash out a budget
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • Party of Five?
  • Party of Five?

    Why Spokane County's newest commissioner is leading the fight to add two more
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Coeur d'Alene Fourth of July Celebration

Coeur d'Alene Fourth of July Celebration @ Downtown Coeur d'Alene

Sat., July 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Kris Dinnison

  • Jan of the Jungle

    You would be hard-pressed to find a library in town that doesn't carry Jan Brett's books, or a kid who hasn't encountered at least one along the way. The Mitten, Brett's most ubiquitous title, is a staple in schools and reading programs a
    • Oct 7, 2004
  • Book Review

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Jane Austen fan in possession of some moments of leisure must be in want of a good book. And the book industry has obliged us. We have been offered Bridget Jones's Diary and Pride, Prejudice
    • Aug 26, 2004
  • Garrison Keiller

    Get Lit! will provide Spokane with a host of opportunities to hobnob with literary giants. But few of those figures will be as familiar in aspect and voice as Garrison Keillor. With his fuzzy caterpillar eyebrows, ironic smile, and tradem
    • Apr 8, 2004
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation