The House of Spirits

‘The House of Spirits’ by Isabel Allende

I’ve read a few of Isabel Allende’s books before and always loved them so I was looking forward to this on my holiday. I actually took it away with me last year too, but I was so busy writing that I didn’t get a chance to read it. The blurb promised a classic Allende read with magic realism and beautiful prose. What I wasn’t expecting as I delved deeper, was the brutality of the plot and the sometimes grotesque events – for example, the main character is prone to bouts of anger and in one, he kicks a nearby chicken so hard that its stomach bursts open and its guts spill all over the floor. Those parts shocked me a little, but the dreamy prose and exciting story-line kept me reading. The House of Spirits is a read that consumes you and stays with you long after you have finished. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a beautifully crafted story.