Born into a poor family in Spain, Ines, 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, Ines 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 Ines Suarez 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.
Ines of My Soul is a work of breathtaking scope: meticulously researched, it engagingly dramatizes the known events of Ines Suarez's life, crafting them into a novel full of the narrative brilliance and passion readers have come to expect from Isabel Allende.
'In "The House of Spirits", Allende constructed an allusional tale for the fate of modern Chile. Now she has repeated the trick for the foundation of the country. The result is perhaps her best book since that debut.' Independent 'Allende's version of events sees Ines Suarez as the puppeteer pulling the strings of the influential men she's involved with. She is quick-witted, militarily astute and has a deep understanding of "the enemy". Allende does not attempt to rewrite the past. Instead, she provides a colourful glimpse into the life of a daring Spanish woman whose vital role has been forgotten by history.' Daily Express 'Fresh and provocative looks at this fascinating period of history.' New Statesman 'Writing about her homeland and its history, she brings to her work a passion and commitment worthy of her vividly drawn characters.' Glasgow Herald 'The author's characteristic lush, passionate prose is apparent. Breathtaking in scope and vibrant in pace, this is old-fashioned story-telling at its best -- an enthralling insight into a colourful and long-ignored historical figure.' Financial Times 'A work of historical fiction couldn't ask for better bones than the adventures of a real-life conquistadora!In "Ines of My Soul", Allende succeeds in resurrecting a woman from history and endowing her with the gravitas of a hero.' Scotsman 'The bloodthirsty tale of invading the Americas is familiar, but here it is told from a woman's viewpoint. It took the invaders a whole year to cross the Andes and the Atacama desert, one of the most desolate places on earth. When founding Santiago, their new capital, in 1541, they faced terrifying numbers of Mapuche Indians, warriors so fearsome that even the powerful Inca had failed to subdue them. Six months after the settlement was built, the Mapuche razed it. To withstand all this, Suarez must have been quite a woman.' Sunday Telegraph 'Gives voice to one of history's forgotten women. This is an exhilarating tale. Fiery and shrewd, Ines is a gift to a writer of Allende's skill.' Easy Living 'As in other Allende novels the heroine acknowledges the virtue and fascination of men whether as lovers or companions. A dashing Amazon, of the kind Spenser or Aristo might have delighted to portray, she is also possessed of a survivor's tough, melancholy wisdom, lending this drama of love and conquest a grim credibility.' Times Literary Supplement 'Beautifully imagined "memoir" of this exceptional historical figure. Isabel Allende has rescued a potential feminist icon from cold storage, yet in doing so she has had to avoid the glorification of the conquistadors. As for the incredible Ines Suarez, Allende brings her utterly and vividly to life. She is the ultimate conquistadora: hugely charismatic, wildly passionate, and ruthlessly focused on survival -- her own, her lover's, and that of her brand-new blood-soaked country.' Waterstones Books Quarterly 'Lush historical drama.' Elle
Number Of Pages: 356
Published: 23rd November 2007
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.25