Book Review: My Invented Country

By Isabel Allende

My Invented Country by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is one of my all-time favorite writers. Her blend of wonderfully rich stories with impeccable writing keeps me coming back for more.

I listened to this a few weeks ago during my commute. I have a love/hate relationship with audiobooks because my enjoyment hinges so precariously on the talent of the voice artist. In this case, I was not let down. Blair Brown did an impeccable job. Her clear, upper class assured voice was perfect for the simultaneously self-assured and self-deprecating writing that is indicative of Allende’s nature.

Blair Brown: Television, Film & Stage Actress;
and Voice Talent

This book provided so much insight into Allende’s books. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Allende writes the magical realism books that are the bread and butter of the modern South American literary scene. Marquez may be Colombian and Allende Chilean but both countries share the same belief in good and bad spirits. As she shares in the book, Chile is a country that believes in spirits, superstitions, themselves, and above all else, God.

As with her novels, a dramatic sense of nostalgia pervades the lives of Chileans on such a grand scale that the country is full of essayists and historians. This book itself is an exercise in nostalgia, as Allende recounts her childhood growing up in Chile, the revolution that lead to her leaving her country, moving to America for a man, and returning to her home country for visits that both relieve and increase the pangs of nostalgia.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Isabel Allende, Chile, and the lives of writers.

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