Review: Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende

16532Of Love and Shadows
Isabel Allende
Dial Press Trade Paperback (August 30, 2005)
304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0553383836

 GoodreadsAmazonIndiebound Powell’s Books

Recommendation: 4/5
Reviewer: Kevin


From Goodreads:
Beautiful and headstrong, Irene Beltrán works as a magazine journalist – a profession that belies her privileged upbringing and her engagement to an army captain. Her investigative partner is photographer Francisco Leal, the son of impoverished Spanish Marxist émigrés. Together, they form an unlikely but inseparable team – and Francisco quickly falls in love with the fierce and loyal Irene. When an assignment leads them to a young girl whom locals believe to possess miraculous powers, they uncover an unspeakable crime perpetrated by an oppressive regime. Determined to reveal the truth in a nation overrun by terror and violence, each will risk everything to find justice – and, ultimately, to embrace the passion and fervor that binds them.

Profoundly moving and ultimately uplifting, Of Love and Shadows is a tale of romance, bravery, and tragedy, set against the indelible backdrop of a country ruled with an iron fist – and peopled with those who dare to challenge it.

My Thoughts
Wonderfully written novel. The language is so lyrical that you enjoy it like a ballad. It’s so real and touching that you see triumph, ecstasy, defeat and despair of those people in a land under a despotic regime and political hypocrisy. The book indeed draws a colorful picture so vivid and natural that it makes you think of life from a different perspective.

‘Development’ cannot be at the cost of natural justice to people of the land, oppression and suppressed torments breeds violence in the long run. Wherever natural justice and freedom are hindered or denied in the name of ‘development’, there you see chaos in the end. It’s a beautiful love story that leaves you scars and pain in your heart long after you’ve finished reading.

However, I felt it strange and it left me surprised at times that Ms Allende slipped to a pulp-fiction-style on a few pages. But she has displayed control throughout, showing the mastery of a talented craftsman who carries clarity of perception.

She deserves to be recognized better.

Happy reading…


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