Sunday, March 04, 2007

BCOO: Ines of My Soul, Isabel Allende

I know more about the conquering of Chile than I ever thought I would. That's a plus. But I think that's all I got out of this book. Maybe that's good for some people, but if I'm going to read a history book, I have a million other things I would like to learn about first.

Ines Suarez narrates Ines of My Soul. She is Pedro de Valdivia's lover. Who's he? The man who conquered Chile. And that's all I really needed to know about the history. I know. I sound like a whiny little kid. I did actually feel like I was back in high school being forced to learn about mythology when I wanted to learn about World War II. Yes, I have more perspective now. I understand both are important. That doesn't change the fact that I felt forced into learning about Chile's first years.

The book is interesting because it attempts to give a voice to the women in that time period. Ines Suarez is, indeed, a strong, wonderful woman. But she's there to serve Pedro do Valdivia's interests. Allende uses Suarez as a lens through which to view Pedro de Validivia and his exploits. I wanted to see Suarez.

Maybe I'm alone in this. The middle of the book did draw me in, but by the end I was just reading to get through the book. Then again, I'm the one who doesn't like war novels. This one fit that bill.

I'm already well into my next book, Blindness, by Jose Saramago. Saramago writes in Portuguese, but the translation has to be spot on. This book is gorgeous. Better stop there. More when I finish.

1 comment:

sharif said...

Blindness was amazing. I just love the way he writes.

There is a musical rendition of it, starting in Chicago next week. I would also recomment Seeing, not as good as Blindness, but still worth reading.