Inés of My Soul

Written by: Isabel Allende, Margaret Sayers Peden

Inés of My Soul Book Cover
Born into a poor family in Spain, Inés, a seamstress, finds herself condemned to a life of hard work without reward or hope for the future. It is the sixteenth century, the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and when her shiftless husband disappears to the New World, Inés uses the opportunity to search for him as an excuse to flee her stifling homeland and seek adventure. After her treacherous journey takes her to Peru, she learns that her husband has died in battle. Soon she begins a fiery love affair with a man who will change the course of her life: Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and field marshal to the famed Francisco Pizarro.

Valdivia's dream is to succeed where other Spaniards have failed: to become the conquerer of Chile. The natives of Chile are fearsome warriors, and the land is rumored to be barren of gold, but this suits Valdivia, who seeks only honor and glory. Together the lovers Inés Suárez and Pedro de Valdivia will build the new city of Santiago, and they will wage a bloody, ruthless war against the indigenous Chileans—the fierce local Indians led by the chief Michimalonko, and the even fiercer Mapuche from the south. The horrific struggle will change them forever, pulling each of them toward their separate destinies.

Inés of My Soul is a work of breathtaking scope: meticulously researched, it engagingly dramatizes the known events of Inés Suárez's life, crafting them into a novel full of the narrative brilliance and passion readers have come to expect from Isabel Allende.
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Ins of My Soul Reviews

Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Inés Suárez is a heroine that will stick with me for a long time. At the book's opening, she estimates she's about seventy years old and is going to soon die. In the rambling way of someone working through their memories, distracted at times by side stories and the need to unburden her soul, Inés' story unfolds.

Born to an ordinary Spanish family, she and her childhood lover are caught up in the adventures of the Americas and the untold riches any man can claim. She goes to join him after he lea Inés Suárez is a heroine that will stick with me for a long time. At the book's opening, she estimates she's about seventy years old and is going to soon die. In the rambling way of someone working through their memories, distracted at times by side stories and the need to unburden her soul, Inés' story unfolds.

Born to an ordinary Spanish family, she and her childhood lover are caught up in the adventures of the Americas and the untold riches any man can claim. She goes to join him after he leaves and finds herself caught up in the exploration and conquest of Chile, the last untamed regions of South America. She finds true love, comfortable love, witnesses the founding of a nation, and makes a ton of empanadas.

I'm incredibly picky about my historical heroines sounding overly modern, especially if they're social rebels who are preternaturally gorgeous. In Allende's quite competent hands, Inés manages to be both stubborn, pig-headed, willful, pretty, and smart without sounding too perfect or too talented. As a narrator, she has the distance of an old woman looking back on what turned out to be a rather momentous life, and so she qualifies and annotates and even rambles and repeats herself. She's fascinating and charming, and I was immediately caught up in her story.

This is an unusual era and setting for historical novels (if one doesn't read a lot of Allende) and so I recommend it to all historical fiction fans. If you're new to Allende, this is a fantastic starter novel -- great story, great narrator -- and the extras at the end provide a lovely introduction to Allende and her other works.
Courtney
This is a historical fiction novel, based on the true story of Inés Suárez, a poor Spanish woman who travels to Peru to find her husband (who left her for the adventure of the Americas) in the 1500's. Finding her husband is an excuse for her to leave her hometown and be free. In Spain she was left in limbo as basically a widow waiting for husband, who she may never have had word of. In Peru, she learns of her husband's death and then meets Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and Francisco Pizarro's fiel This is a historical fiction novel, based on the true story of Inés Suárez, a poor Spanish woman who travels to Peru to find her husband (who left her for the adventure of the Americas) in the 1500's. Finding her husband is an excuse for her to leave her hometown and be free. In Spain she was left in limbo as basically a widow waiting for husband, who she may never have had word of. In Peru, she learns of her husband's death and then meets Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and Francisco Pizarro's field marshall, and together they "found" Chile. I found this story really captivating, especially since it was based on true events, and I loved Inés' strong personality - especially in a time where women were expected to be docile. Two things were a challenge - keeping the many Spanish names straight, and reading about the brutality that the Spanish bestowed upon the native people of Peru and Chile. The story is told by Inés as an old woman - and I like how it isn't linear of chronological.
Stuart
Inés of My Soul is a fantastic book to read if you enjoy fictional literature which also manages to be educational. Although, calling this book 'fictional' is not entirely true, given that Inés Suárez, as well as many of the other characters in the book such as Rodrigo de Quiroga and Pedro de Valdivia, were real, living conquistadors of the 1500's. There is an authors note at the book of the book which states;

"This novel is a work of intuition, but any similarity to events and persons related to Inés of My Soul is a fantastic book to read if you enjoy fictional literature which also manages to be educational. Although, calling this book 'fictional' is not entirely true, given that Inés Suárez, as well as many of the other characters in the book such as Rodrigo de Quiroga and Pedro de Valdivia, were real, living conquistadors of the 1500's. There is an authors note at the book of the book which states;

"This novel is a work of intuition, but any similarity to events and persons related to the conquest of Chile is not coincidental. The feats of Inés Suárez noted by the chroniclers of her era were nearly ignored by historians for more than four hundred years. In these pages I narrate events as they were documented. My hand merely strung them together with a fine thread of imagination."

That little note summaries what this book is really about; Allende has taken the facts and retellings of Inés Suárez and has filled in the blanks using her imagination (or as I've heard her call it; "educated guesses") in order to create this gripping work of fictional-non-fiction. There are some incredibly intense battle scenes and her wonderful use of languages manages to convey the brutal violence of the time, yet somehow doesn't make you recoil in horror.

Another Allende book well worth reading.
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow :: A Woman of Substance :: Baby Island :: The Hidden Persuaders
Linda Hart
This book did not captivate me the way Allende's other books did. Historically, very little is known about Inés Suarez, the lone woman who left Spain for Peru with the conquistadores in the 1500's, eventually becoming one of the conquerors of Chile and wife of the Royal Governor. Allende did a wonderful job of shaping Inés's voice; transforming her from the almost anonymous historical figure she is into a passionate, admirable woman whose words and actions matter in the grand scheme of things. D This book did not captivate me the way Allende's other books did. Historically, very little is known about Inés Suarez, the lone woman who left Spain for Peru with the conquistadores in the 1500's, eventually becoming one of the conquerors of Chile and wife of the Royal Governor. Allende did a wonderful job of shaping Inés's voice; transforming her from the almost anonymous historical figure she is into a passionate, admirable woman whose words and actions matter in the grand scheme of things. Doña Inés played a major role in establishing Santiago, the first Chilean colony, while also ensuring the safety of its people during countless wars and skirmishes with the Mapuche Indians. A large portion of the book is one massacre after another including historically accurate details of the hideous dehumanizing tortures and terrible executions practiced by both the Mapuche and the Spaniards. It grew tedious.
Praxedes
Like everything Ms. Allende writes, this novel is filled with beautifully crafted sentences, characters and stories bordering on the mythical, and an abrupt ending. This book is historic fiction; she takes the role of Ines Suarez, one of the founders of Chile, and recounts the adventure of establishing an outpost in the New World. Great story.
Tammy
Having read and loved The House of Spirits(possibly my favourite book of all time), I've come to expect only the best from Isabel Allende.

She is, I believe, one of the few authors whose descriptive, multi-layered and hypnotic prose make the reader feel as if they were actually living and experiencing the heart and soul of her stories instead of just merely reading it.

And with this book, it's no different.

Inés of my soul chronicles the life of real life sixteenth-century heroine, Doña Inés Suáre Having read and loved The House of Spirits(possibly my favourite book of all time), I've come to expect only the best from Isabel Allende.

She is, I believe, one of the few authors whose descriptive, multi-layered and hypnotic prose make the reader feel as if they were actually living and experiencing the heart and soul of her stories instead of just merely reading it.

And with this book, it's no different.

Inés of my soul chronicles the life of real life sixteenth-century heroine, Doña Inés Suárez, who along with her lover, Pedro de Valdivia travels to Chile to found the city of Santiago.

Married at a young age to a womanising and adventure-seeking man, Ines soon discovers that life in Spain is not cut out for her. She decides to journey to the New World (The untamed South American lands) in pursuit of her husband, whose quest for treasure ultimately leads to his demise.

Upon hearing about Juan (her husband's death), Ines decides to remain in Peru, where shortly afterwards she finds herself swept away by the bold, dashing and courageous Don Pedro de Valdivia, conquistador and loyal field marshal to Francisco Pizarro.

Together, in their efforts to form a new city in South America, they wage a bloody and ruthless war against the South American Indians – a war that would last for more years than they could have imagined.

Based on documented events of Ines Suarez's life, Isabel Allende effortlessly crafts together a tale of love, passion, deceit, tragedy and warfare. While I don't think Ines of my soul will ever reach the same heights that The House of Spirits did, Allende's writing is exquisitely descriptive and will still leave you wanting more.

It's a must have for fans of her work.
Tiffany
Inés of my Soul is a fictional account of the true life of Inés Suarez, conquistadora of Chile during the sixteenth century. Allende is "making up" for the fact that no true historical account of Suarez's experiences in establishing Chile currently exists.

I loved many things about this book. I very much enjoyed learning about the history of Chile and South America in general, things I knew nothing about before reading this book. It inspired me to research the Spanish occupation of South America Inés of my Soul is a fictional account of the true life of Inés Suarez, conquistadora of Chile during the sixteenth century. Allende is "making up" for the fact that no true historical account of Suarez's experiences in establishing Chile currently exists.

I loved many things about this book. I very much enjoyed learning about the history of Chile and South America in general, things I knew nothing about before reading this book. It inspired me to research the Spanish occupation of South America and their relations with the aboriginal tribes in the area. Now I also find myself wanting to read those few historical documents that depict the true Inés Suarez, an icon that history hasn't seemed to do justice. I can see why Allende would be attracted to writing about such a powerful woman, seeing as how she played a major role in establishing the first Chilean colony while also ensuring the safety of its people during countless wars. In my opinion (albeit currently somewhat ignorant), Allende did a wonderful job of shaping the voice of Inés Suarez; she transformed Suarez from the almost anonymous historical figure she is into a passionate, admirable woman whose words and actions matter in the grand scheme of things.

The reason I give this book three stars instead of four is that I felt the book could have ended about fifty pages before it did; it seemed Allende grew tired of her own subject but felt the need to explain a few more events in order to achieve a tidy ending. The result, however, is an ending that lacks lustre and poetry, and simply leaves the reader feeling a bit beaten over the head. I'd still recommend the book because of its great balance between education and entertainment, but be warned that the last part of the book is tedious.
Bruna
Inés da minha alma é um livro maioritariamente narrativo, tendo pois poucos diálogos, no entanto é com extrema facilidade que nos perdemos nas aventuras e desventuras dos colonizadores do Chile. Inés é uma personagem época, uma mulher intrépida e decidida, que quer nos suscite amor ou ódio, é inegável a admiração que produz em qualquer dos leitores. Num tempo em que as mulheres tinham um papel apagado de donas de casa, freiras ou similar, dona Inés destacou-se como guerreira, curandeira, coloniz Inés da minha alma é um livro maioritariamente narrativo, tendo pois poucos diálogos, no entanto é com extrema facilidade que nos perdemos nas aventuras e desventuras dos colonizadores do Chile. Inés é uma personagem época, uma mulher intrépida e decidida, que quer nos suscite amor ou ódio, é inegável a admiração que produz em qualquer dos leitores. Num tempo em que as mulheres tinham um papel apagado de donas de casa, freiras ou similar, dona Inés destacou-se como guerreira, curandeira, colonizadora e, também como governadora. É bem verdade, o que dizem acerca do facto dos grandes homens terem sempre uma grande mulher a apoiá-los, pelo menos Pedro de Valdivia teve essa sorte, apesar de a ter desperdiçado ao fim de alguns anos.
Basicamente este livro é uma delícia para quem gosta de romances históricos (ainda para mais baseados em factos reais) e personagens femininas marcantes. recomendadíssimo!!!
São Palma
Gostei mas nao me entusiasmou como outros livros da autora... talvez não tenha sido o melhor momento para o ler.
Ana Dumitrache
Ines a sufletului meu este un roman greu de parcurs, deși nu e lung. E însă foarte încărcat de date și evenimente istorice, detalii puțin relevante pentru poveste care contribuie la faptul că dezvoltarea personajelor nu mai are loc.
Cred că romanul are și plusuri și minusuri și e greu să găsești balanța între ele și să stabilești dacă ți-a plăcut sau nu. Romanul urmărește povestea lui Ines Suarez, care, deși o figură celebră, îmi era complet necunoscută. Mi-a plăcut subiectul și am văzut-o pe Ine Ines a sufletului meu este un roman greu de parcurs, deși nu e lung. E însă foarte încărcat de date și evenimente istorice, detalii puțin relevante pentru poveste care contribuie la faptul că dezvoltarea personajelor nu mai are loc.
Cred că romanul are și plusuri și minusuri și e greu să găsești balanța între ele și să stabilești dacă ți-a plăcut sau nu. Romanul urmărește povestea lui Ines Suarez, care, deși o figură celebră, îmi era complet necunoscută. Mi-a plăcut subiectul și am văzut-o pe Ines ca pe Amelia din Spune-mi cine sunt, o femeie care nu s-a născut în epoca potrivită și nu își poate găsi locul, o femeie menită să facă mai mult decât să fie mama și soție, menită să scrie istorie. Diferența a fost că Ines nu a fost conturată mai deloc. Deși narațiunea este făcută de ea, aflată pe patul de moarte, nu am simțit-o niciun moment deschisă. Mi s-a părut că doar înșiră în grabă evenimentele din viața ei și evenimentele istorice contemporane ei. Nu destăinuie nimic din ce e în sufletul ei, mi s-a părut distantă și mult prea obiectivă, pentru un narator implicat. Nu pot spune că mi-a plăcut de ea, pentru că nu am cunoscut-o, pentru că nu m-a lăsat să o cunosc. Și îmi pare tare rău, căci acțiunile ei și importanța ei în istorie le poți afla și de pe Wiki.
Ines se căsătorește de tânără cu Juan, care însă o părăsește și pleacă să cunoască lumea. Mi-a plăcut curajul ei de a merge să-l caute și de a-și găsi destinul. Numai din asta îți dai seama că e femeie diferită. Soarta îl scoate însă în calea ei pe Pedro, care își părăsește și el soția și căminul din Peru și pleacă la drum cu dorința de colonizare și de pământ nou. Împreuna, aveau să pună bazele coloniei din Chile. Deși ei trăiesc o poveste de dragoste intensă, Ines o prezintă rapid și detașat, în câteva zeci de pagini. Nu mi-a plăcut povestea lor, pentru că nu le-am simțit iubirea și nici suferința.
Ines petrece nouă ani de colonie în Chile, trece prin războaie și foamete, prin frică și boală, dar are parte și de momente frumoase. Toate acestea ar fi făcut din romanul acesta unul foarte bun, însă undeva ceva a lipsit. Eu aș spune că subiectivitatea și profunzimea. A fost prea obiectiv, ca un manual de istorie. S-a pus mai mult accent pe evenimente, decât pe sentimente și povești de viață. Dar cred că sunt cititori care apreciază și asta, tocmai acesta e și motivul pentru care am spus că e greu să îl numești roman bun sau prost. Din punctul meu de vedere, nu e bun, pentru că nu mi-a transmis nimic, nu am rezonat cu personajele și nu le-am cunoscut cu adevărat. Dar am aflat câteva informații interesante, iar autoarea merita apreciata pentru munca de ei documentare.

Giuls
Il libro racconta la storia di Ines Suarez, conquistatrice del Cile.
Il suo è un personaggio ai più sconosciuto, la conquista del Cile in generale non è il classico avvenimento su cui, almeno da noi in Italia, nel resto del mondo non so, ci si sofferma a lungo durante le ore di storia, dato la vastità del programma. Per cui è sempre bello ed interessante scoprire le vite di personaggi che hanno reso possibile il mondo che oggi noi tutti conosciamo.
Isabel Allende in questo libro è stata in grado d Il libro racconta la storia di Ines Suarez, conquistatrice del Cile.
Il suo è un personaggio ai più sconosciuto, la conquista del Cile in generale non è il classico avvenimento su cui, almeno da noi in Italia, nel resto del mondo non so, ci si sofferma a lungo durante le ore di storia, dato la vastità del programma. Per cui è sempre bello ed interessante scoprire le vite di personaggi che hanno reso possibile il mondo che oggi noi tutti conosciamo.
Isabel Allende in questo libro è stata in grado di rendere la lunga vita di questa donna in poco più di 300 pagine in un modo che non risulta mai noioso.
Il libro risulta quindi essere un memoriale scritto dalla stessa Ines che cerca di ripercorrere la sua vita: così facendo sono presenti molte anticipazioni, per cui si sanno già in anticipo molti degli avvenimenti che si incontreranno durante la lettura, ma ciò non stona all'interno del tutto, anzi, ti invoglia maggiormente a continuare alla lettura per cercare di arrivare a quel fatidico punto.
Nel complesso Ines viene fuori come un personaggio forte e combattivo, che non si lascia mettere i piedi in testa da nessuno, pronta a tutto per se stessa e per chi le sta attorno, ma soprattutto per raggiungere l'obiettivo. Viene fuori un eroe, sotto molti punti di vista è più eroica lei di tutti i conquistadores che le stanno attorno, che nel complesso sono risultati più simili all'idea classica che uno si fa sui libri di scuola: crudeli e diffidenti del nemico, pronti a conquistare terre solo per il loro tornaconto personale, soprattutto se questo consiste in oro.

Nel complesso un ottimo romanzo, scorrevole e molto interessante. La più grande pecca? Il fatto che a fine lettura io non sia in grado di dire quanto di ciò che è stato raccontato sia vero o licenza poetica, ma questa è più una mancanza mia...
Dagoberto Vargas
Las riquezas de oro en el nuevo mundo en la época de colonia atraían a muchos del viejo continente a aventurarse, es la historia de Juan de Alvarado que deja España para ir hacia Sudamerica, ha este viaje la sigue Inés, una joven que busca cambiar su vida de costurera en España por todo lo que ha escuchado del nuevo mundo. Sus habilidades y su carácter le servirán durante este viaje en el que se conocerá el desarrollo de la conquista del Perú y de las tierras de Chile.
La novela es muy relajada Las riquezas de oro en el nuevo mundo en la época de colonia atraían a muchos del viejo continente a aventurarse, es la historia de Juan de Alvarado que deja España para ir hacia Sudamerica, ha este viaje la sigue Inés, una joven que busca cambiar su vida de costurera en España por todo lo que ha escuchado del nuevo mundo. Sus habilidades y su carácter le servirán durante este viaje en el que se conocerá el desarrollo de la conquista del Perú y de las tierras de Chile.
La novela es muy relajada y fácil de leer, la forma de escribir de la autora es muy amena, haciendo que la vieja Inés cuente la historia de su vida desde su salida de España hasta su vejez, llevándonos de momentos a sucesos futuros de su vida y regresándonos al hilo de la historia como fueron sucediendo los hechos; como si la protagonista quisiera adelantarnos y darnos una probadita de lo que sucederá pero sin hacerlo muy palpablemente. Esa manera de cautivar al lector me encantó, ya que lo hace con una sutileza tal, que no se siente forzado a continuar leyendo.
Sin duda me encantó la narrativa, es una autora que sin duda hay que darle un espacio para que nos enamore con sus letras, ya que aunque los sucesos propios de la época son crueles, la forma de contarlos con parsimonia hace que conozcas a los actores, los entiendas y al final tengas un buen sabor de boca.
Susan Austin
I love learning about history this way. And Allende, recognising that history often just focuses on the men and their story, instead shines a light on the women in this epic battle to colonise Chile. Brutal but well-told, she delves into the stories of the women of this time, and while it is principally the story of the conquistadora Ines de Suarez, she does show sympathy to the indigenous peoples and their courageous fight for their lands. Allende also portrays many other women as central to th I love learning about history this way. And Allende, recognising that history often just focuses on the men and their story, instead shines a light on the women in this epic battle to colonise Chile. Brutal but well-told, she delves into the stories of the women of this time, and while it is principally the story of the conquistadora Ines de Suarez, she does show sympathy to the indigenous peoples and their courageous fight for their lands. Allende also portrays many other women as central to the story. Maybe it is a bit overblown and unbelievable at times (and the passionate scenes a bit cliched) but that's Allende and I'd prefer that than a restrained and cautious version of the same story.
Lisa James
Isabel Allende NEVER disappoints. This almost autobiography of Dona Ines Suarez, who was a very real lady, chronicles her life and adventures from her home country of Spain, to the hard won new country of Chile. You will come away from this one both haunted by the atrocities committed on both sides during times of war, & absolute amazement & admiration for everything this strong, proud woman & others LIKE her, endured & overcame in the 1500's.
Arlene
Interesting, challenging read. Beautifully written but I found it a bit of a slog to keep up with the cast of characters and the historical scope. It felt a bit uncomfortable reading from the point of view of a coloniser - it's great to have a strong female protagonist, but are we supposed to be rooting for her when she's playing a leading role in taking Chile from the native people? The novel is honest about the brutality and hypocrisy of the conquistadors though. Very thought provoking.
Beth Maddaus
I have long been an admirer of Isabel Allende's books and was delighted to find that her latest book, Ines of My Soul is about a famous conquistadora of Chile who in the mid-16th century helps to build the city of Santiago.

The book begins with this fascinating woman's youth in Spain where she marries a man, Juan de Malaga, who leaves her in Spain to pursue riches in the Americas.

After several years in Spain as a "widow of the Americas", Ines negotiates a permit that will allow her to travel acro I have long been an admirer of Isabel Allende's books and was delighted to find that her latest book, Ines of My Soul is about a famous conquistadora of Chile who in the mid-16th century helps to build the city of Santiago.

The book begins with this fascinating woman's youth in Spain where she marries a man, Juan de Malaga, who leaves her in Spain to pursue riches in the Americas.

After several years in Spain as a "widow of the Americas", Ines negotiates a permit that will allow her to travel across the ocean to join her husband. Upon arriving, she follows information of his whereabouts and travels through the Continent until she learns that her husband died in the battle of Las Salinas. Believing that her husband was pursuing gold--not war--and not wiling to accept the word of others, she travels to Cuzco, Peru, to find out for herself if her husband has died. She learns that all Spanish men were conscripted into battle and that both soldiers and prospecters share a thirst for gold and conquest.

Now a widow in Cuzco, Ines set up a business using her skills as a seamstress and cook and made a living providing for the population. While in Cuzco, she begins a love affair with Pedro de Valdivia and with him sets out to conquer the territory of Chile. The travel from Cuzco through the vast Atacama Desert and hostile territory to the beauiful hills and valleys of the Mapocho river region where the group establishes the city of Santiago took thirteen months.

The court of the Inquisition extends its reach to prosecute Pedro de Valdivia--a married man with a wife in Spain--for his relationship with Ines. The records from his trial provided much of the information that Isabel Allende was able to use in her book.

Ines' perspective from the end of her life, full of the long-term implications of the conquistador's actions, and filtered through the prism of Isabel Allende's wonderful imagination, gives a response to the violent events that are associated with conquest.

The book was enjoyable to me for its historical perspective and geographical information. My favorite Isabel Allende books remain House of Spirits and Eva Luna but I would recommend this one to readers who enjoy history and adventure.
Gail Amendt
I know very little about South American history, other than what I remember from a unit about the fall of the Inca empire in elementary school, and I didn't even realize my education was so lacking until I read this book. I've read a great deal about the Spanish presence in what is now the US, the Caribbean and Central America, but somehow my education seems to stop at Panama. Perhaps this is because much of what has been written is not in English, and much of what is in English is classified as I know very little about South American history, other than what I remember from a unit about the fall of the Inca empire in elementary school, and I didn't even realize my education was so lacking until I read this book. I've read a great deal about the Spanish presence in what is now the US, the Caribbean and Central America, but somehow my education seems to stop at Panama. Perhaps this is because much of what has been written is not in English, and much of what is in English is classified as magical realism, which is a writing style I don't really care for. In any case, this book was a delight and I feel I learned a great deal.

This book is the fictionalized story of Ines Suarez, a real life woman who began her life as a humble seamstress in Spain. She decided to travel to the New World in search of her husband, where she found that he had died. She then embarked on a new adventure as the mistress of the man who conquered and founded the nation of Chile.

The writing style of this novel takes a bit of getting used to, as it is written as the memoirs of an elderly Ines, with the somewhat rambling and easily distracted manner of the elderly. At times it seems to stray a bit from this style, appearing a little too organized and expository, but this could simply be representative of the elderly woman's more lucid days. There is a mystical element to this novel, but not enough that it deserves the magical realism label that it has.

A particularly interesting aspect of this novel is the insight into the attitudes and mind-set of the conquistadors, who really believed they were acting on behalf of God in bringing civilization and Christianity to the natives. That the natives of some parts of South America seemed as advanced as the Europeans was a shock to them, but all atrocities were justified by the concept of "converting the heathens." And this book is filled with atrocities, but as they are told as memoirs, the effect is softened a little.

This book has piqued my interest in South American historical fiction, so perhaps I will set aside my dislike of magical realism, and read some more.

Catarina
Mais uma vez, Isabel Allende leva-nos pela vida de uma grande mulher. Aqui estamos anos antes do outro livro da autora que li recentemente, A Filha da Fortuna. Inés Suaréz participou na conquista do Chile, sendo uma das mulheres que ajudou a construir aquele país, o país que conhecemos hoje, tão diferente na época.

Esta conquista do Chile foi difícil, sangrenta, dolorosa. Mas foi um feito na História, na História da América do Sul, de Espanha, do mundo. Ler este livro sabendo que Inés Suaréz exi Mais uma vez, Isabel Allende leva-nos pela vida de uma grande mulher. Aqui estamos anos antes do outro livro da autora que li recentemente, A Filha da Fortuna. Inés Suaréz participou na conquista do Chile, sendo uma das mulheres que ajudou a construir aquele país, o país que conhecemos hoje, tão diferente na época.

Esta conquista do Chile foi difícil, sangrenta, dolorosa. Mas foi um feito na História, na História da América do Sul, de Espanha, do mundo. Ler este livro sabendo que Inés Suaréz existiu mesmo, que não foi inventada pela autora, fez-me dar muito mais valor à história.

A garra desta mulher, que conseguiu o seu lugar num mundo de homens, merece ser admirada. Nos tempos em que já tudo está "conquistado", há que dar valor à luta dos que nos precederam. Como tantas mulheres, foi o amor que reinou na vida de Inés, foi o amor que a levou a atravessar o oceano e partir de Espanha para o Peru, foi o amor que a fez sair do Peru e ajudar na conquista do Chile, e foi o amor que a fez ficar, que a fez erguer Santiago.

Inés não deixou descendentes, mas deixou-nos a sua história de coragem. Este livro é uma viagem maravilhosa pelas tribos índias que já ocupavam o que é hoje o Chile, pela garra dos espanhóis. Mas o relato que Isabel faz, na voz de Inés, é um relato quase isento e, por isso mesmo, bem mais valioso. Não se perde tempo a louvar os espanhóis, tentando esconder as atrocidades que cometeram sob a desculpa da conquista. Atrocidades que, como os espanhóis, também os portugueses, os ingleses e os outros povos cometeram, um pouco por todo o mundo. Mas há que admirar a coragem deles, a perseverança, a insistência. Queriam construir um país, erguer cidades, marcar mais um lugar no mapa. E, a bem ou a mal, conseguiram.

É através de Inés que seguimos esta aventura, tão real mas que nos parece impossível. Vale muito a pena ler este livro e aprender um pouco mais ao mesmo tempo que nos perdemos na história de vida de uma mulher que marcou o seu nome na História. Uma mulher que jamais será esquecida. É também graças a Inés Suaréz que hoje existe o Chile. E só faz bem aprender sobre isso desta forma :)

Elise
Words cannot adequately express how much I love, love, love this novel! "Ines of My Soul" is Isabel Allende at her very best, as this piece of historical fiction is carefully researched, and the proof is in the strange, gruesome, and horrific details Allende brings to life in her account of war and love in the New World.

"Ines of My Soul" takes place during the conquest of Chile in the 1500s, which coincides with the Spanish Inquisition. This story is told from the point of view of Ines, a poor Words cannot adequately express how much I love, love, love this novel! "Ines of My Soul" is Isabel Allende at her very best, as this piece of historical fiction is carefully researched, and the proof is in the strange, gruesome, and horrific details Allende brings to life in her account of war and love in the New World.

"Ines of My Soul" takes place during the conquest of Chile in the 1500s, which coincides with the Spanish Inquisition. This story is told from the point of view of Ines, a poor Spanish seamstress who sets out for the Americas in search of adventure and the husband who left her in his search for El Dorado, the city of gold. Ines is a strong woman who chooses her own path, and while this may seem anachronistic for the 1500s, Ines' character rings true under Allende's masterful pen. I was also impressed with the balance of Ines' account of these historical events, since she is clearly on the side of the Spaniards against the fierce and relentless Mapuche Indians. At one point, she tells her daughter, "As long as one Indian and one Spaniard are left, blood will flow. I should hate them [the Mapuche Indians], Isabel, but I can't. They are my enemies, but I admire them because I know that if I were in their place, I would die fighting for my land, as they are doing" (310).

Be warned that this tale is full of torture, blood, horror, and gore, because war is hell, so it is not for the faint of heart. However, I highly recommend it. There is so much insight into human nature, relationships, and the motivation for going to war in these pages. There are no easy heroes and villains, which is the mark of a great book, because it gives us so much to think about and discuss.

I want Allende to write another book like this one--intelligent historical fiction that reveals the strange, dark beauty of reality.
Christina
Ines of My Soul transports the reader to 16th Century Chile. Isabelle Allende narrates this novel from the point of view of Ines Suarez, an actual historical figure, a Spanish Conquistadora. Ines was born in Spain and was young when she married her first husband, Juan de Malaga. This was a passionate romance and the novel sensuously describes their tempestuous affair. A quarrel sets a rift between the two and Juan de Malaga chooses to voyage to the Americas. Ines decides to follow him some time Ines of My Soul transports the reader to 16th Century Chile. Isabelle Allende narrates this novel from the point of view of Ines Suarez, an actual historical figure, a Spanish Conquistadora. Ines was born in Spain and was young when she married her first husband, Juan de Malaga. This was a passionate romance and the novel sensuously describes their tempestuous affair. A quarrel sets a rift between the two and Juan de Malaga chooses to voyage to the Americas. Ines decides to follow him some time later, not because she loves him, but because she sees that her life may not be too fulfilling as a seamstress in Spain.

She sets off across the ocean and after several months she arrives in Cusco,Peru. Here she discovers that her husband has been killed in battle. She falls passionately in love with Pedro de Valdivia and is his mistress for several years, following him to help establish the city of Santiago, Chile. Their adventures put them in contact with the native peoples, friend and foe. She later marries Rodrigo de Quiroga, Valdivia's captain.

The narrative is passionate, gruesome, and informative. I enjoyed the way Allende seamlessly blended fictional elements with fact. Allende offers a discourse concerning religion, history, warfare, medicine, food, and the Mapuche and Inca native peoples of 16th Century Chile/South America. The novel is action packed and sprinkled with romance. Ines is portrayed as a passionate, strong, and fierce woman. She is a character who I will not soon forget.
David
Isabel Allende is Chile's most famous author. She is recognized worldwide for her novels, most of which are described as "magic realism" (magical elements in a realistic setting). This work, however, tells the story of the original conquest of Chile through the eyes of Ines Suarez. Her story begins in Spain in the early 1500s. She comes to Peru in search of her husband (who died before she could find him). She becomes the mistress of Pedro de Valdivia, but we soon discover she is no home-body. T Isabel Allende is Chile's most famous author. She is recognized worldwide for her novels, most of which are described as "magic realism" (magical elements in a realistic setting). This work, however, tells the story of the original conquest of Chile through the eyes of Ines Suarez. Her story begins in Spain in the early 1500s. She comes to Peru in search of her husband (who died before she could find him). She becomes the mistress of Pedro de Valdivia, but we soon discover she is no home-body. Together, Pedro and Ines (and others who follow in her life and her bed) conquer the country of Chile. The role of Ines is key to the success in the early years of conflict with the natives. The author is not hesitant to describe the brutality of the Spanish conquistadores, including Ines. But there is a good measure of tenderness and compassion as well.

From what I've read elsewhere, most of the events described appear to be historically accurate (including the prevalent adultery and brutality), with added detail to create a captivating story. The author noted, "This novel is a work of intuition, but any similarity to events and persons relating to the conquest of Chile is not coincidental."

Given my personal interest in Chile, this book provided a fascinating history and context for the present.
Javi
No sabía de qué era el libro antes de comenzar a leerlo, por lo que me sorprendió en las primeras páginas cuando descubrí que era de la historia de Chile por allá por el siglo XVI, y más aún al terminarlo y haberme dado cuenta que me encantó y aprendí mucho de mi país. No lo encuentro muy similar a otros libros de Allende que he leído, pero no iría tan lejos como otros reviews que dicen que es algo completamente distinto.

El libro habla sobre Inés de Suárez, mujer de la cual no se habla mucho en No sabía de qué era el libro antes de comenzar a leerlo, por lo que me sorprendió en las primeras páginas cuando descubrí que era de la historia de Chile por allá por el siglo XVI, y más aún al terminarlo y haberme dado cuenta que me encantó y aprendí mucho de mi país. No lo encuentro muy similar a otros libros de Allende que he leído, pero no iría tan lejos como otros reviews que dicen que es algo completamente distinto.

El libro habla sobre Inés de Suárez, mujer de la cual no se habla mucho en la historia de Chile pero que tuvo un papel fundamental en ella. Cada uno de los personajes del libro existió en la vida real y no hay hechos inventados, salvo pequeños detalles que no se alejan a la realidad de los conquistadores e indígenas de la época, e incluso los acentúan, en especial en las batallas. Se nota que Isabel Allende hizo una gran investigación y se resistió a dejar volar su imaginación, como explica al comienzo y final del libro.

No se lo recomendaría a todo el mundo, pero (al menos en mi caso) sirve más que las muchas clases de historia que he tenido en la vida, principalmente porque es un relato desde el punto de vista de Inés, lo que te mantiene entretenido en cada página.
Merredith
I like Isabelle Allende and I had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it. I was pleasantly surprised when I started, to find that it is a historical account of the founding of Chile in the 1500s. I oh-so-briefly learned about the conquistadores back in 6th grade or so, and have not learned much about any of that since. I think maybe we touched on it in high school spanish class. The whole thing was so lifelike and realistic. A lot of historical novels are kind of romantic b I like Isabelle Allende and I had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it. I was pleasantly surprised when I started, to find that it is a historical account of the founding of Chile in the 1500s. I oh-so-briefly learned about the conquistadores back in 6th grade or so, and have not learned much about any of that since. I think maybe we touched on it in high school spanish class. The whole thing was so lifelike and realistic. A lot of historical novels are kind of romantic but this was not. This is not a book that you speed through - it's pretty slow reading, but not because it's boring or bad. It's set up as a memoir by Ines, now in her 80s or 90s, who helped found chile. Naturally, while I was reading, I thought it probably was made up. When I got to the end, I found out that Ines really existed and this is, while fiction, largely based on fact. I never knew that a woman was so instrumental in founding that country and especially back then! What an amazing woman! There are a lot of sad parts - lots of cruelty, particuarly to the native americans, who they kill and enslave. I highly recommend this book!
Marie
Isabel Allende is an incredible writer and I've loved much of her work--Zorro, Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Sepia.

But Inés of My Soul was a slog. Though the conquering of Chile and the historical figure of Doña Inés Suarez make for compelling subjects, any excitement is lost in the telling. The book is almost exclusively told in narrative without the relief of scene. As well, the endless detailing of horrific brutalities conducted against the native peoples of Peru and Chile is stomach-turn Isabel Allende is an incredible writer and I've loved much of her work--Zorro, Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Sepia.

But Inés of My Soul was a slog. Though the conquering of Chile and the historical figure of Doña Inés Suarez make for compelling subjects, any excitement is lost in the telling. The book is almost exclusively told in narrative without the relief of scene. As well, the endless detailing of horrific brutalities conducted against the native peoples of Peru and Chile is stomach-turning (don't get me wrong, that's a much better alternative than glossing over the brutality entirely, as there was already enough conquistador-glorification going on as it was...but it was exhausting to read).

The world-building, however, is fantastic, and once the characters are finally in Chile, there are action and intrigue sequences that are truly engrossing.

Marjorie
Ines Suarez was an amazing woman and it's no wonder her life makes for incredible historical fiction. I would recommend this to anyone interested in American history. Ines' life and achievements are really not to be missed. Allende's descriptive style of writing drew me into the incredible places Ines experiences. The fictional memoir style is not my favorite, but it does allow the reader to get a sense of the kind of remembered inconsistencies that many of the memoirs and biographies of the Spa Ines Suarez was an amazing woman and it's no wonder her life makes for incredible historical fiction. I would recommend this to anyone interested in American history. Ines' life and achievements are really not to be missed. Allende's descriptive style of writing drew me into the incredible places Ines experiences. The fictional memoir style is not my favorite, but it does allow the reader to get a sense of the kind of remembered inconsistencies that many of the memoirs and biographies of the Spanish colonizers include. I was hesitant reading a novel from the conquerer's perspective, but Allende does pay tribute to the civilizations that Ines encounters and shows that relations between tribes and races were more complicated than just Spanish and Native Americans.
Pat
I am so pleased that this book is finished at Last! I would not have read it but for the fact that it is on the list for my literature group for the autumn term. Our theme is South American literature and this is the second one that I have got through. I don't know if there are things that are lost in translation, but the genre does nothing for me at all. I don't really like Isabel Allende's style but I was hoping that this book would appeal to me more than The House of the Spirits did. The answ I am so pleased that this book is finished at Last! I would not have read it but for the fact that it is on the list for my literature group for the autumn term. Our theme is South American literature and this is the second one that I have got through. I don't know if there are things that are lost in translation, but the genre does nothing for me at all. I don't really like Isabel Allende's style but I was hoping that this book would appeal to me more than The House of the Spirits did. The answer to that is "NO". I am going to spend some time looking up Ines Suarez on the internet and also facts about the conquest of Chile because I suspect that this is a highly fictionalised account. Not recommended by me.
Elizabeth
3.5 stars
This was my first Isabel Allende book, and I found it to be an all around interesting read. I wasn't very familiar with this era in South American history, so I learned a lot. As appalling as some of the events described were, I appreciated that she didn't romanticize it or pretty it up. As I read, I was inspired to look up people and places and battles, which further brought the story to life for me (though it also provided some spoilers). Ines herself was also an interesting woman, an 3.5 stars
This was my first Isabel Allende book, and I found it to be an all around interesting read. I wasn't very familiar with this era in South American history, so I learned a lot. As appalling as some of the events described were, I appreciated that she didn't romanticize it or pretty it up. As I read, I was inspired to look up people and places and battles, which further brought the story to life for me (though it also provided some spoilers). Ines herself was also an interesting woman, and made a strong, likable character, and her story was definitely worth telling. I look forward to reading more from Allende in the future, as well as learning more about South America.
Ariana
I'm not sure if it was the translation or the fact that the story is told from the point of a view of an aging woman, but something was definitely off about this book. Though the language wasn't difficult, reading it felt heavy, like I was dragging the book along. It also got a bit repetitive, attributed to the main character's failing memory. I was also annoyed by the inconsistency in referring to the characters by their first and last names. I had heard so many good things about Isabel Allende I'm not sure if it was the translation or the fact that the story is told from the point of a view of an aging woman, but something was definitely off about this book. Though the language wasn't difficult, reading it felt heavy, like I was dragging the book along. It also got a bit repetitive, attributed to the main character's failing memory. I was also annoyed by the inconsistency in referring to the characters by their first and last names. I had heard so many good things about Isabel Allende, and this book has not encouraged me to read more by her.
Karen
I enjoy the way the author spins a tale and gives a history lesson at the same time and this is maybe my third or fourth book I've read by this author. I'm waffling between a three and four star review but what the heck. Her research and writing are great. I just felt a bit detached from this strong and confident lead woman character.
Julia Gaspar-Bates
This is a great historical novel about a heroic 16th century feminist who helped found Chile. Both factual and romanticized with Allende's trademark touch of magical realism. A must read to learn more about the Spanish Conquest of Latin America.
Patricia
Wonderfully written....but so bloody. It is about the conquest and settling of Chile by the Spanish, so I suppose the violence is to be expected. Ines is a marvelous character, so if you can stomach the brutality, its an excellent story.
Emily
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez- gorgeous writing that transplanted me to the settling of Chile. Gave me a good understanding of the development of the Kingdom of Chile.
Michael Jay
A glorious journey. Remembering the expression "a reader lives a thousand lives, a non-reader only one," I can say I appreciate Allende's research, intuition, and discipline in creating this work. Thanks for letting me go along as a reader. I gleaned many things from it.
Giuseppe D
Tres estrellas porque empieza a ser mejor sólo en el último capítulo donde se reconoce el estilo del realismo mágico y por fin hay personajes como Lautaro que cumplen su destino. El principio lo encontré demasiado lento. De todas formas una buena lectura.
Nieves Ojados
Del estilo de Isabel Allende, pero con una historia más dura que otras suyas.
Aneliya Petrunova
(на български по-долу)

Isabel Allende se ha convertido en una de mis autoras favoritas. Me han gustado todos sus libros que he leído, aunque algunos me han sorprendido un poco. Pero todos describen personas muy interesantes y muy fuertes, la mayoría mujeres. Una mujer muy fuerte y muy interesante es la protagonista también de "Inés del alma mía", pero esta vez se trata de una persona real, histórica. La autora ha leído mucho como preparación para escribir esta novela. Los hechos de la vida de Iné (на български по-долу)

Isabel Allende se ha convertido en una de mis autoras favoritas. Me han gustado todos sus libros que he leído, aunque algunos me han sorprendido un poco. Pero todos describen personas muy interesantes y muy fuertes, la mayoría mujeres. Una mujer muy fuerte y muy interesante es la protagonista también de "Inés del alma mía", pero esta vez se trata de una persona real, histórica. La autora ha leído mucho como preparación para escribir esta novela. Los hechos de la vida de Inés Suárez y la conquista de Chile, que a veces parecen sorprendentes e inverosímiles, forman solamente el esqueleto de este relato. La carne sobre el esqueleto son todos los detalles que la fantasía de la autora ha añadido - sobre el día a día de Inés Suárez y sus grandes amores - con Pedro de Valdivia y Rodrigo de Quiroga, pero también sobre los largos años que duró la conquista de Chile y las crueldades que se cometieron en nombre de la Corona española y la fe cristiana. Uno de los elementos más importantes es el punto de vista femenino hacia los hechos históricos - algo muy típico de Iabel Allende. A mí personalmente me gustaron más otros de sus libros ("Hija de la fortuna", "Eva Luna", "Cuentos de Eva Luna"), pero me doy cuenta de que este libro ha requerido mucho tiempo y trabajo y debo admitir que ha salido muy bien. Me ha sorprendido un poco que Allende haya elegido este tema, pero su talento de contar historias ha convertido el libro en otra de sus historias mágicas y encantadoras.

***

Исабел Алиенде стана една от любимите ми писателки. Всички нейни книги, които съм прочела, са ми харесали, въпреки че някои са ме учудили леко. Но всички описват много интересни и много силни личности, повечето от тях жени. Една много силна и интересна жена е и героинята на "Инес, моя душа", но този път става въпрос за реална, историческа личност. Авторката е изчела много, за да се подготви да напише този роман. Фактите от живота на Инес Суарес и завладяването на Чили, които на моменти изглеждат изненадващи и неправдоподобни, съставляват скелета на тази история. Плътта върху скелета са всички онези подробности, които въображението на авторката е добавило - за ежедневието на Инес Суарес и големите й любови - с Педро де Валдивия и Родриго де Кирога, но и за дългите години на завладяването на Чили и жестокостите, извършени в името на испанската Корона и християнската вяра. Един от най-важните елементи е женската гледна точка към историческите събития - нещо много типично за нея. Лично на мен ми харесаха повече други от книгите й ("Дъщеря на съдбата", "Ева Луна", "Приказки на Ева Луна"), но си давам сметка, че тази е изисквала много време и работа и трябва да се признае, че се е получила много добре. Малко се изненадах, че Алиенде е избрала тази тема, но талантът й на разказвачка е превърнал книгата в поредната от нейните магични и завладяващи истории.
Erika Schmid
This novel was a beautiful look into the life of the first Spanish settlers in Chile in the early 16th century. Written as a memoir of Ines in her old age, it travels through her life, starting in Spain and then going halfway around the world to settle in Chile.

I have never read a book before that takes place in this time period in Chile. It was brilliant to read about the foundations of Spanish settlement in America and through the eyes of a woman on top of it. Ines proved true bravery in ever This novel was a beautiful look into the life of the first Spanish settlers in Chile in the early 16th century. Written as a memoir of Ines in her old age, it travels through her life, starting in Spain and then going halfway around the world to settle in Chile.

I have never read a book before that takes place in this time period in Chile. It was brilliant to read about the foundations of Spanish settlement in America and through the eyes of a woman on top of it. Ines proved true bravery in everything she did as she left Spain to find her husband who had come to gain his fortune in America. Ines was a lively character, though she and the others did not stand out to me. Perhaps I was just a little irked by her love affairs, I have a hard time believing in lust at first sight. Not love, lust. I think there was a lot of lust for Ines, but she failed to show a lot of love. I believe she held more love toward the idea of Chile and all that the city of Santiago could be, than to the three men in her life. I'm just going to write it off as I don't understand lustful passions where days are filled with sex. She was telling this story to her daughter! Ugh, way too much sex for telling this story to her daughter.

Stories such as these, with brave women doing that which men tell them not to do, fascinate me and this one held my interest as well. I would have liked more emotion than lust and anguish, too much severity, as these extremes just followed the timeline of history.
Arlene Whitlock
I have authors that I read whatever they write. Among them are John Irving, Anne Tyler an Isabel Allende. I am actually waiting for Allende’s most recent book, In The Midst of Winter to become available at my local library. So, when looking for her new book, I discovered this book. I was surprised because I thought I had read all of her books!

In any event, the book was slow in the beginning. Allende provides rich detail to this historicountable regarding the Spanish capture of what is now Chile. I have authors that I read whatever they write. Among them are John Irving, Anne Tyler an Isabel Allende. I am actually waiting for Allende’s most recent book, In The Midst of Winter to become available at my local library. So, when looking for her new book, I discovered this book. I was surprised because I thought I had read all of her books!

In any event, the book was slow in the beginning. Allende provides rich detail to this historicountable regarding the Spanish capture of what is now Chile. This detail slowed the pace down. I aalso think she was trying to cram as much into this book as possible. I had to keep going back to remember the characters.

I only got into this book after I decided to google Pedro de Valdivia. I his review, I found the link to Ines de Suarez. She actually is considered a female conquistador! Now the novel began to have meaning. I even found paintings of this conquistador waving her sword, chopping off the heads of the Native Americans who had decimated their village. Yes, I did cringe knowing that the Spaniards were really the invaders. However, Allende does equal justice in providing the heroics of the Machupe people, one of which was the courageous Laurato who pretended to serve the Spaniards for several years only to take back his knowledge to his people to use in war against the Spaniards.

If you are a history buff, like I am, this book serves as a introduction to the founding of Chile, Allende's native country.

Alishia
I admittedly know very little about the history in South American, and was surprised to learn while reading this book that it was based on an actual person. Written from Inez Suarez's perspective the book follows her role in the conquering of Chile along with a sometimes small, but always extremely violent, Spanish army. I love historical fiction, so this was right up my alley, but I often found myself cheering for the native tribes and not Inez and her Spanish conquistadors. The decimation of t I admittedly know very little about the history in South American, and was surprised to learn while reading this book that it was based on an actual person. Written from Inez Suarez's perspective the book follows her role in the conquering of Chile along with a sometimes small, but always extremely violent, Spanish army. I love historical fiction, so this was right up my alley, but I often found myself cheering for the native tribes and not Inez and her Spanish conquistadors. The decimation of the natives and the cruelty put upon them by the Spanish was a hard truth to read and kept me from really enjoying the characters.
The reason I only gave this book 3 stars is I felt it dragged on a bit. I love books that are so captivating that I stay up late at night telling myself, "Okay, just ONE more chapter.", but can't put it down. Inez of my Soul wasn't like that.
I would recommend this book if you truly enjoy South American History and aren't turned off by the reality of how the Spanish accomplished the task of settling Chile. You also need to be okay with the fact that there is a lot of military descriptions and it's not much of a page turner.
Overall, I appreciate the historical truth instilled in the pages of Inez of my Soul, just found the pace a little lack luster for my taste.
Tania
In this work of historical fiction Allende writes of real-life seamstress turned pioneer Ines Suarez, the woman who helped found Chile. It's written as a memoir, with Suarez looking back at her adventurous life from her death bed. She concentrates her memories on life in Spain, travels to the New World, tumultuous early relationships, and the years during which she helped to create civilization amongst what Europeans considered the uncivilized Indian culture. She is telling this story for the be In this work of historical fiction Allende writes of real-life seamstress turned pioneer Ines Suarez, the woman who helped found Chile. It's written as a memoir, with Suarez looking back at her adventurous life from her death bed. She concentrates her memories on life in Spain, travels to the New World, tumultuous early relationships, and the years during which she helped to create civilization amongst what Europeans considered the uncivilized Indian culture. She is telling this story for the benefit of her step-daughter, Isabel.

It's a good book - I found the meandering of the narrator's thoughts a little redundant, so that is why I rated it 3 stars instead of 4. There was a lot of back in forth on events that would have been a more interesting read if they'd been told chronologically instead. Some deaths were referred to so often that by the time the death was described, it was anti-climactic. Tension could have been greater if some of that was left as a surprise in the telling. The history behind the story is fascinating, and Ines Suarez is a strong character capable of carrying a story.
Luiza
Romance histórico sobre Inés Suárez, uma espanhola que saiu jovem da Espanha rumo à América na busca de seu então marido, e que acaba conhecendo — e se apaixonando — por Pedro de Valdívia, um dos maiores conquistadores do Chile. Obra claramente feminista, retrata Inés como uma mulher destemida e leal, que combate junto aos espanhóis para conquistar as terras ao sul do deserto do Atacama, fundar Santiago, e fazer prosperar essa terra enquanto os índios ao seu redor tentam sobreviver a toda a viol Romance histórico sobre Inés Suárez, uma espanhola que saiu jovem da Espanha rumo à América na busca de seu então marido, e que acaba conhecendo — e se apaixonando — por Pedro de Valdívia, um dos maiores conquistadores do Chile. Obra claramente feminista, retrata Inés como uma mulher destemida e leal, que combate junto aos espanhóis para conquistar as terras ao sul do deserto do Atacama, fundar Santiago, e fazer prosperar essa terra enquanto os índios ao seu redor tentam sobreviver a toda a violência infringida pelos conquistadores.

A autora retrata Inés com uma consciência feminista e humanista que eu custo crer que ela de fato tivesse na época — achar que os índios são dignos de empatia não me parece exatamente um sentimento “da moda” durante as conquistas espanholas, mas vai saber, né?

Obra rica, detalhada, cheia de informações sobre a ocupação chilena e seus habitantes pré-colonização, é um ótimo romance que foge do padrão “leitura fácil para passar o tempo”. Boa obra para se ter uma ideia do que ocorreu na fundação do Chile colonial — embora outras leituras sejam necessárias pra se ter melhor ideia do quanto Isabel Allende “dourou a pílula” em sua obra.
Naomi
I actually enjoyed this book. I've been trying to use the start system on Goodreads based on what they say when you mouse over them. So this title gets three stars because I liked it, but I didn't REALLY like it. I read it for the first time over ten years ago, and I will probably read it again, but probably not for another ten years. It's something that I would want to revisit, but not if I'm looking for swashbuckling adventure and action. Think biopic.

Zero spoilers!
It had a slow meandering qua I actually enjoyed this book. I've been trying to use the start system on Goodreads based on what they say when you mouse over them. So this title gets three stars because I liked it, but I didn't REALLY like it. I read it for the first time over ten years ago, and I will probably read it again, but probably not for another ten years. It's something that I would want to revisit, but not if I'm looking for swashbuckling adventure and action. Think biopic.

Zero spoilers!
It had a slow meandering quality, but a lot of detail with regards to environment and culture. This made it very easy to follow, and at no point did I have to stop and question what was happening or why, based cultural or even geographical confusion. Unlike this spoiler free review, the book wasn't vague.

I'm not sure how this book is categorized but I would call it historical fiction. It's set in South/Central America, and was the first book I've read in that setting. I think that if you have even the faintest interest in Spanish colonialism, or life in the Americas at that time you will enjoy this one. It's written from a female perspective and as such dwells on a lot of the life, home, and community management rather than militaristic. That's not to say that the ladies don't have an eye or ear for strategy.

Erin
I love historical fiction, and if a book I'm reading makes me look at maps and do further research, then it's a winner. Now, I will admit, I am a Spanish teacher, and I should know the history of Chile and it's founding, but my heart is in Spain, not Latin America. However, this book piqued my interest, and now between the fictionalized accounts in this book and my research showing it's not that far off the truth at all, I feel more knowledgeable on the topic of Chile, and interested in continui I love historical fiction, and if a book I'm reading makes me look at maps and do further research, then it's a winner. Now, I will admit, I am a Spanish teacher, and I should know the history of Chile and it's founding, but my heart is in Spain, not Latin America. However, this book piqued my interest, and now between the fictionalized accounts in this book and my research showing it's not that far off the truth at all, I feel more knowledgeable on the topic of Chile, and interested in continuing research. And Allende is, as always, an exceptional story teller, choosing a strong woman as her narrater, one who has often been ignored in historical accounts of the time. Highly recommended to anyone who can appreciate these aspects in a book.
Jairo Castrillón
Grande Isabel

De nuevo me dejo llevar por el estilo espléndido de Isabel Allende y me encuentro en un relato histórico apasionante. La historia de Pedro de Valdivia y su gran amor, Inés Suárez, me atrapó desde el comienzo y me sumergió en una época cruel y despiadada como lo fue la conquista de América. Sin embargo, más allá del dolor, la barbarie, injusticia, ignorancia e inclemencia, se destaca el aspecto humano de los protagonistas así como su probada valentía, junto a la de una mujer loable Grande Isabel

De nuevo me dejo llevar por el estilo espléndido de Isabel Allende y me encuentro en un relato histórico apasionante. La historia de Pedro de Valdivia y su gran amor, Inés Suárez, me atrapó desde el comienzo y me sumergió en una época cruel y despiadada como lo fue la conquista de América. Sin embargo, más allá del dolor, la barbarie, injusticia, ignorancia e inclemencia, se destaca el aspecto humano de los protagonistas así como su probada valentía, junto a la de una mujer loable reducida por la historia como tantas veces ha sucedido. Gracias de nuevo Isabel, gracias.
Diana Campos
Supongo que mi visita a Trujillo hace unos dias y con ganas de saber más de las peripecias de los hidalgos extremeños que se fueron al Nuevo mundo ha hecho que leyera este libro.
Peripecias bien contadas de doña Inés Suarez una intrepida que se encontró por el camino a Pedro de Valdivia y como quien no quiere la cosa les dió pot ir a conquistar Chile e incordiar a los mapuches que por esos lares vivían.Me ha divertido y entretenido bastante.
He leído varias novelas de Allende y lo que más me sorpr Supongo que mi visita a Trujillo hace unos dias y con ganas de saber más de las peripecias de los hidalgos extremeños que se fueron al Nuevo mundo ha hecho que leyera este libro.
Peripecias bien contadas de doña Inés Suarez una intrepida que se encontró por el camino a Pedro de Valdivia y como quien no quiere la cosa les dió pot ir a conquistar Chile e incordiar a los mapuches que por esos lares vivían.Me ha divertido y entretenido bastante.
He leído varias novelas de Allende y lo que más me sorprende que tiene bastantes recursos y aunque no todas las historias me han gustado por igual son estilos narrativos diferentes que me cuesta buscar similitudes. Eso no es fácil de lograr.
Miriam
This historical novel opened my eyes to the history behind the conquest of Chile. Many characters in the story are based on real historical figures, and Allende did a tremendous amount of research to make the tale come alive. Ines was a remarkable woman. I particularly admire how Allende, through the eyes of Ines, comments on the moral failings of the Conquistadors, and at the same time describes the native Chilean people in a respectful, realistic way (refusing to see them merely as innocent vi This historical novel opened my eyes to the history behind the conquest of Chile. Many characters in the story are based on real historical figures, and Allende did a tremendous amount of research to make the tale come alive. Ines was a remarkable woman. I particularly admire how Allende, through the eyes of Ines, comments on the moral failings of the Conquistadors, and at the same time describes the native Chilean people in a respectful, realistic way (refusing to see them merely as innocent victims). Not an easy read, in regards to the violent parts of the story. Totally worth it, however, because now I have a whole new understanding of Chile's history.
Brian
Good, not great.
Pluses: real places, real events, real people. The author took 500 year old history of Chile and spun a great narrative. I learned about Chile.

Minuses: I remembered why I have hated the Spanish conquistadors: murder, torture, rape, slavery, treachery, exploitation, cruelty and worse. Tho author added lots of gratuitous sex for the 21st century readers.

Overall: go Lotaro!

Note on the audio edition: narration by Blair Brown was superb. I loved her Spanish-accented English.
Tomy Ceballos
Como la mayoría de los libros de isabel allende, es un libro que narra las aventuras de una mujer valiente, de caracter fuerte independiente, a través del atlantico y por los indómitos territorios mapuches. Sabios indigenas, talentos imposibles, amores de caracter autoritario pero alma noble y viajes por el globo en diferentes fechas de la historia son algunos de los identificadores de Isabel. De lectura rapida, fluida y agradable, es recomendable para dejarse llevar a las epocas de la conquista Como la mayoría de los libros de isabel allende, es un libro que narra las aventuras de una mujer valiente, de caracter fuerte independiente, a través del atlantico y por los indómitos territorios mapuches. Sabios indigenas, talentos imposibles, amores de caracter autoritario pero alma noble y viajes por el globo en diferentes fechas de la historia son algunos de los identificadores de Isabel. De lectura rapida, fluida y agradable, es recomendable para dejarse llevar a las epocas de la conquista y acompañar a inés en sus aventuras.
Kathleen Dorholt
As a rule, it seems, I have to give Spanish-heritage/Latino writers time when I read their works, and the same is true of Allende. So I was anticipating the struggle in the first third to be worth the rewarding writing after it. Allende' strong and admirable female characters are worth my reading, and the stories she chooses to write are fascinating historical fiction. Ines of My Soul: A Novel is among them.
Linda Oleszczuk
Four and a half stars. A fascinating account, from a woman's perspective, of the settlement of Chile by the Spanish in the 16th century. Cruelty in war on both sides, a fierce woman is in the midst of it all. I was shocked to learn it was all based on real accounts of the time period, and Ines was a real woman! Talk about girl power! Inspired to read more about this era, and hope all my women friends will as well!
Rocky
Great untold story about a woman's instrumental role in the conquest of Chili. It's a brutal and visceral account of the many evils of Spanish colonialism in South America. Slavery, torture, genocide, and rape were all means to acquiring land, spreading Christianity, and spreading the superior Spanish blood. It is an ugly story that must to be told so that we learn from history and don't repeat it.
Baljit
I’ve been doing a blitz of Allende’s by books, hence this came to by possession. I would rate it as an average work for Allende. There is the typical way she weaves a story around a strong female character. I was taken up by reading about Cuzco and the relationship between the Spaniards and the natives, having visited this town recently. The exploration of Chile was interesting too, but towards the end the exploits of Pedro were too drawn out, bordering on repetitive.
Deanna Perkins
Another amazing book by this amazing author. When I bought this book, I wondered why I would want to read a historical novel about conquering Chile. But it being written by Isabel Allende, I knew it had to be good. So, I dug in. It took a long time to read as I read book club books in between, so remembering who was who with the long Spanish and Indian names and tribes was a challenge. But each time I picked the book up, I fell right back in. Great read!
Lauren Flores
Historical fiction is not my genre of choice. I tend to be a bit of a skeptic when it comes to these types of stories. How much is truth? How much is fiction?

I mostly read this novel as fun preparation for my upcoming trip to Chile and because Allende has been recommended to me several times.

The novel was enjoyable, and exposed me to a part of history i know so little about. A quick read, nothing spectacular, but overall entertaining.
Mallee Stanley
This is a brutal account of the Spanish invasion and colonization of South America seen through the eyes of Ines. As a seamstress in Spain, Ines decides to sail to South America in search of her first husband. With a lust for gold and the rape of Indian women, the Spanish conquer the continent through one battle after another against the original inhabitants, fighting a desperate battle to regain their land.
Mateo.esp
Es un libro verdaderamente hermoso, el cual deja muchas enseñanza y se amplía el universo de la historia del continente americano, Isabel Allende escribe de una forma extraordinaria haciendo sentir cosas en tu cuerpo para el que se mete en esta bella historia finalmente sin pensarlo recomendaría 100% este libro.
Cecilia Hernandez
Me fascina la historia de La conquista de América. Ya la he leido varias veces y siempre me transporta a esos tiempo. Estoy clara que esos tiempos fueron horrorosos para todos los nativos. Se cometieron muchos crímenes por parte de los españoles. La historia se escribe con mucha sangre de inocentes . Que podríamos agradecer ? Nuestro idioma y religión ? Inés del alma mía , me cautivas.
Jennifer Louden
I just traveled in Chile and this was a fun interesting read as I traveled. I enjoy the "tell me a story" narrative voice and while I felt far away from the characters, the history lesson was beautifully delivered through a strong woman character.
Israfel Salazar
Muy bueno! Primer libro que leo de Isabel Allende y me deja con ganas de más.
Relata la historia de una manera interesante que nunca aburre y mantiene atento en todas las páginas.
Completamente recomendado!
Melissa Lieffers
In “Inés de alma mía,” Allende recounts the history of Chile’s extended conquest through the protagonist of Doña Inés Suárez’s reflection in a letter to her daughter. The book was thoroughly researched. Moreover, it’s a read so enjoyable I didn’t feel like I was being educated.
Shatterlings
This isn’t one of Isabel’s best but it’s a good story, the parts that didn’t work for me are the ones where Ines couldn’t have seen the action. And I did also wonder how accurate parts were as I doubt a woman who was essentially a concubine would have had that much power or freedom.
Laura
The most horrifying story about the most awesome woman ever!!
M.M. Ballasch
Me costó entrar en la historia al principio, pero al final me convenció y me vendió sus personajes. Una historia sobre la devastación que se produjo durante la colonización.
Karen P
I recommend this book to everyone esepecially if you are traveling to Chile. Inspirational, courageous woman, fun read and great background to Santiago.
Emily
I don’t usually read historical fiction, but this was a fun read about a badass woman.
Cástol Sörlin
Apasionante relato sobre la conquista de Chile, vívido y muy impresionante...
Melissa Barbosa
Muy lindo, como todos los libros de Isabel Allende. Y también muy interesante, pues es de una parte de la história que yo no conocia, ya que se estudia muy poco sobre Chile en Brasil.
Carolina Villaalva
Very interesting book with a lot of investigation about the history of Chile
Sheila
Not really my cup of tea, but not a bad book.
Pamela Ferguson
Another stunning Isabel Allende read. Historical account of Spain founding Chile ... and the wars ..
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