Inés of My Soul – Isabel Allende

From the moment I opened this book, I was under a spell. And remained so  until the very last page. Isabel Allende’s words are bewitching and I am thankful that I was on holiday when I started, so I could have hours of uninterrupted, beach-reading bliss!

Throughout Isabel Allende’s magical historical novel about the conquest of Chile, I went through every emotion imaginable. The enthralling book tells of the exciting life of Inés de Suárez, the mistress of Pedro de Valdivia, who became the first royal governor of Chile.

Inés’ life wasn’t always so interesting. After her first husband leaves to travel to The New World in the Americas, in search of gold and glory, Inés becomes frustrated with her boring life in Plasencia, Spain. She makes a decision that will change the course of her life, and history. She decides to follow her husband, not for love, but for herself. She longs for freedom and adventure.  Continue reading

Before the Earthquake – Maria Allen

After reading an interview with the author, I simply had to buy this book. The plot seemed too good to miss out on, and being set in a small village in the the south of Italy, at the turn of the last century, it sounded like my sort of thing. The story is about Concetta, a fifteen year old peasant girl who wakes from a coma after an earthquake, finding herself pregnant and with no memory of how she became that way.

Worried about the scandal it would cause, not to mention ruining the chance of marriage for her two sisters, Concetta is quickly married to a family friend to settle an age old debt. Through the rest of the book, we follow Concetta through her new routines as she tries to get to grips with her new life. Continue reading