Flashback Friday: The House of the Spirits

Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight. If you’d like to join in, here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

My pick for this week’s Flashback Friday:


The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

(published 1982)

From Goodreads:

In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.

The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.

It’s hard to believe that The House of the Spirits is Isabel Allende’s first novel. Beautifully written and structured, this generation-spanning book is both a detailed look at the life of a family and its eccentric members and a look at the political upheaval that forms such a critical piece of Chile’s history. I’ve read and enjoyed many of Isabel Allende’s novels since, but The House of the Spirits is truly unforgettable.

… and yet another example of a wonderful book that was only a so-so movie. Skip the DVD — read the book instead.

So, what’s your favorite blast from the past? Leave a tip for your fellow booklovers!

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join the Flashback Friday fun, write a blog post about a book you love and share your link below. Don’t have a blog post to share? Then share your favorite oldie-but-goodie in the comments section. Jump in!

2 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: The House of the Spirits

  1. I finally got around to reading this book…last year? The year before?…and absolutely loved it. It’s amazing how she was able to weave the family drama with the political troubles of the time. I remember seeing the trailer to the movie as well, yikes that it was a rather meh experience.

    Btw, love the idea behind this! I’ll post up a link shortly 😉

    • Thanks, Lianne! I’d love to hear what your favorite “oldies” are!

      And regarding the movie of this book — they cut out an entire generation of the family! Maybe just to focus on the big name stars in the cast, but it had the effect of taking a big saga of a book and smooshing it into a 2-hour drama that just didn’t work.

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