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The sum of our days
Allende, Isabel.
Adult Nonfiction PQ8098.1.L54 Z4613 2008c

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this deeply revealing second memoir, after Paula, novelist Allende (The House of Spirits) utilizes her family and the complex network of their relationships as the linchpin of the narrative. While weaving in her candid opinions on love and marriage, friendship, drug addiction, the writing life and religious fanaticism, Allende continues to work through the grief over her daughter's death. "In these years without you I have learned to manage sadness, making it my ally. Little by little your absence and other losses in my life are turning into a sweet nostalgia." And though Allende's insight is keen, her prose polished and her language hypnotic, it's the stories of her close-knit family that move the memoir forward. "We lived as a tribe, Chilean style; we were almost always together." While much of the story is infused with melancholy, her world is by no means without humor, mirth and wisdom. She celebrates friends' triumphs and exploits their foibles, including the "odyssey of the boobs," without taking herself too seriously. This is a book to savor. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Allende (The House of the Spirits) has a personal commitment to begin a new book every year on January 8. One year, agonizing at daybreak, she had no first sentence to report to her agent, who then requested the letter that turned into this memoir of family events since the death of Allende's daughter--the topic of her earlier Paula. Allende appropriately describes life as a "disorderly, quick process filled with unforeseen events" and admits that she has trouble following her husband's repeated advice to "keep her nose out" of her extended family's emotionally complicated lives (addiction, divorce, children with three different mothers, and failed medical procedures are just the short list of the problems faced by her "tribe"). Allende's trademark magical realism is ever present as she writes of Paula's spirit throughout this book. She reports that her houseguests smell jasmine and feel furniture moving in Paula's room, and her grandchildren see ghostly visions on the stairs. This high-spirited, emotionally packed book enables readers to get a closer look at the life of a much-loved writer--who even shares her schoolgirl crush on actor Antonio Banderas. Recommended for all literature collections. [Visit the author online at]--Joyce Sparrow, JWB Children's Svcs. Council, Pinellas Park, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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