English II Honors
May 30, 2000
Paula by Isabel Allende; 330 pp.; Cost: $14.00
When Isabel Allende’s daughter, Paula fell gravely ill, Allende began to fill her writing tablet with a story for Paula. Allende wrote so when Paula woke up she won’t be lost and will know what happened while she was in her coma. This is Allende’s first nonfiction novel. The book tells you what is happening during Paula’s illness along with Allende’s autobiography and memoirs. She speaks to Paula telling her the story of odd ancestors, her own secrets, and stories from her youth. She also tells Paula what is going on while she is in her coma. Allende says what happened during the murder of her uncle, the Chilean President Salvador Allende, the military coup and her exile, her relationships and the downfall of her first marriage to Paula’s father, why she wrote her first novel, to her present life in California. Allende turns this devastating experience to a happy one with her use of words making it a beautiful story.
Paula different from Allende’s other works because it is nonfiction; however it is known to be her best one along with House of the Spirits. I liked this book a lot and would definitely recommend it to anyone. If you haven’t read any of Allende’s novels and aren’t familiar with her I don’t think you would enjoy it as much. This book should be read after reading at least one of Allende’s novels so there could be an introduction to getting to know this author. In my opinion, Isabel Allende has lived a very interesting life and you would find that out after reading this book.