Sunday, January 17, 2010

132 (2010 #7). Ines of My Soul

by Isabel Allende
read by Blair Brown

This is a first-person fictionalized account of the life of little-known Ines de Suarez, c. 1507-1580, conquistadora and gobernadora of Chile along with her lover, Pedro de Valdivia (originally field marshal to Perus' conquistador Francisco Pizarro), and later with her husband, Rodrigo de Quiroga.

Isabel Allende, born in Peru but raised in Chile, writes as though she is Ines telling the story of her life, at age 70 and shortly before her death, to her adopted daughter Isabel. Allende brings to life Ines' adventurous voyage to the New World, the harrowing trip from Peru to what will become Chile, and her part in its settlement and the battles with the natives. At times the descriptions of the latter scenes become tedious, but it's offset by the detailed research into the life of the heroine and the narrative style that makes her real.

Veteran New York actress Blair Brown does an excellent job reading the book, with a perfect Spanish accent and pronunciations. Spanish guitar interludes at the beginning and end of each disc add to the atmosphere. Highly recommended.

[This audiobook was borrowed from and returned to my university library.]

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