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Island Beneath the Sea

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Island Beneath the Sea - Isabel Allende Summary

“Allende is a master storyteller at the peak of her powers.” — Los Angeles Times From the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende (Inés of My Soul, The House of the Spirits, Portrait in Sepia) tells the story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny.

Island Beneath the Sea

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Island Beneath the Sea - Isabel Allende Summary

From the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, Isabel Allende's latest novel tells the story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny in a society where that would seem impossible.

Island Beneath the Sea

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Island Beneath the Sea - Isabel Allende Summary

Spanning four decades, this book is the moving story of one woman′s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.

Maya's Notebook

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Maya's Notebook - Isabel Allende Summary

Maya’s Notebook is a startling novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende. This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer. When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as "the vampires," she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime--a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. In the care of her grandmother’s old friend, Manuel Arias, and surrounded by strange new acquaintances, Maya begins to record her story in her notebook, as she tries to make sense of her past and unravel the mysteries of her family and her own life.

Forest of the Pygmies

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Forest of the Pygmies - Isabel Allende Summary

Once again Alexander Cold and his indomitable journalist grandmother, Kate, are braving the mystical unknown, this time in the heart of Africa. Along with Alex's friend Nadia Santos and a photographic crew from International Geographic magazine, they have travelled to Kenya to work on an article about the continent's first elephant-led safaris. But when a missionary approaches their camp in search of companions who have mysteriously disappeared, Alex, Nadia, and their group find themselves embarking on a dangerous mission to Africa's equatorial forest to aid a clan of Pygmies. For the Cold expedition is the tribe's last hope for survival in a world where poaching, corruption, and slavery run rampant. Forest of the Pygmies is the concluding volume of acclaimed author Isabel Allende's celebrated trilogy, which begins with City of the Beasts and continues with Kingdom of the Golden Dragon.

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon

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Kingdom of the Golden Dragon - Isabel Allende Summary

Reunited once more, young Alexander Cold and his best friend, Nadia, embark upon a new adventure, following Alex's frighteningly fearless journalist grandmother Kate to a forbidden kingdom hidden away in the frosty peaks of the Himalayas. They seek the fabled Golden Dragon—a sacred statue and priceless oracle coveted by a greedy and powerful outsider. To prevent the desecration of the holy relic, they will need the help of a sage Buddhist monk, his young royal disciple, and a fierce tribe of Yeti warriors. But even the mystical power of their totemic animal spirits may not be enough to save the teenagers and this remote world from the destructive encroachment of “civilization.” Kingdom of the Golden Dragon is the second book in a remarkable trilogy by internationally acclaimed author Isabel Allende.

The House of the Spirits

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The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende Summary

As a girl, Clara del Valle can read fortunes, make objects move as if they had lives of their own, and predict the future. Following the mysterious death of her sister, Rosa the Beautiful, Clara is mute for nine years. When she breaks her silence, it is to announce that she will be married soon to the stern and volatile landowner Esteban Trueba. Set in an unnamed Latin American country over three generations, The House of the Spirits is a magnificent epic of a proud and passionate family, secret loves and violent revolution.

Daughter of Fortune

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Daughter of Fortune - Isabel Allende Summary

An orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, vivacious young Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Entering a rough-and-tumble world of new arrivals driven mad by gold fever, Eliza moves in a society of single men and prostitutes with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi'en. California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence to the young Chilean, and her search for her elusive lover gradually turns into another kind of journey. By the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is.

Eva Luna

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Eva Luna - Isabel Allende Summary

Meet New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende’s most enchanting creation, Eva Luna: a lover, a writer, a revolutionary, and above all a storyteller. Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant and a snake-bitten gardener—born poor, orphaned at an early age, and working as a servant. Eva is a naturally gifted and imaginative storyteller who meets people from all stations and walks of life. Though she has no wealth, she trades her stories like currency with people who are kind to her. In this novel, she shares the story of her own life and introduces readers to a diverse and eccentric cast of characters including the Lebanese émigré who befriends her and takes her in; her unfortunate godmother, whose brain is addled by rum and who believes in all the Catholic saints and a few of her own invention; a street urchin who grows into a petty criminal and, later, a leader in the guerrilla struggle; a celebrated transsexual entertainer who instructs her in the ways of the adult world; and a young refugee whose flight from postwar Europe will prove crucial to Eva's fate. As Eva tells her story, Isabel Allende conjures up a whole complex South American nation—the rich, the poor, the simple, and the sophisticated—in a novel replete with character and incident, with drama and comedy and history, with battles and passions, rebellions and reunions, a novel that celebrates the power of imagination to create a better world.

The Sum of Our Days

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The Sum of Our Days - Isabel Allende Summary

In this heartfelt memoir, Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of tragic loss—the death of her daughter, Paula. Recalling the past thirteen years from the daily letters the author and her mother, who lives in Chile, wrote to each other, Allende bares her soul in a book that is as exuberant and full of life as its creator. She recounts the stories of the wildly eccentric, strong-minded, and eclectic tribe she gathers around her that becomes a new kind of family. Throughout, Allende shares her thoughts on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, infidelity, addiction, and memory. Here, too, are the amazing stories behind Allende’s books, the superstitions that guide her writing process, and her adventurous travels. Ultimately, The Sum of Our Days offers a unique tour of this gifted writer’s inner world and of the relationships that have become essential to her life and her work. Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor, and wisdom, The Sum of Our Days is a portrait of a contemporary family, bound together by the love, fierce loyalty, and stubborn determination of a beloved, indomitable matriarch.

Portrait in Sepia

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Portrait in Sepia - Isabel Allende Summary

In nineteenth-century Chile, Aurora del Valle suffers a brutal trauma that erases all recollections of the first five years of her life. Raised by her regal and ambitious grandmother Paulina del Valle, Aurora grows up in a privileged environment but is tormented by horrible nightmares. When she is forced to recognize her betrayal at the hands of the man she loves, and to cope with the resulting solitude, she explores the mystery of her past.

The Japanese Lover

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The Japanese Lover - Isabel Allende Summary

From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War. The Japanese Lover is a tender story that explores issues of race and identity, abandonment and reconciliation, and centers on two women: elderly, enigmatic Alma and her caretaker, the younger, devoted Irina, who is hiding a dark past. With an intricate, gripping plot that takes readers inside the US internment camps where Japanese Americans were imprisoned during the war, the novel captures both the horrifying acts and the beautiful deeds of which mankind is capable. Here is Isabel Allende at her masterful best.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne Summary

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea By Jules Verne Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright. Verne was born in the seaport of Nantes, where he was trained to follow in his father's footsteps as a lawyer, but quit the profession early in life to write for magazines and the stage. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). We are delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure a high quality product, each title has been meticulously hand curated by our staff. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with a book that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic work, and that for you it becomes an enriching experience.

The London Train

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The London Train - Tessa Hadley Summary

Two lives, stretched between two cities, converge in a chance meeting that has immediate and far-reaching consequences, in this compelling, sophisticated work from an acclaimed "New Yorker" writer.

Building the Devil's Empire

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Building the Devil's Empire - Shannon Lee Dawdy Summary

Building the Devil’s Empire is the first comprehensive history of New Orleans’s early years, tracing the town’s development from its origins in 1718 to its revolt against Spanish rule in 1768. Shannon Lee Dawdy’s picaresque account of New Orleans’s wild youth features a cast of strong-willed captives, thin-skinned nobles, sharp-tongued women, and carousing travelers. But she also widens her lens to reveal the port city’s global significance, examining its role in the French Empire and the Caribbean, and she concludes that by exemplifying a kind of rogue colonialism—where governments, outlaws, and capitalism become entwined—New Orleans should prompt us to reconsider our notions of how colonialism works. "[A] penetrating study of the colony's founding."—Nation “A brilliant and spirited reinterpretation of the emergence of French New Orleans. Dawdy leads us deep into the daily life of the city, and along the many paths that connected it to France, the North American interior, and the Greater Caribbean. A major contribution to our understanding of the history of the Americas and of the French Atlantic, the work is also a model of interdisciplinary research and analysis, skillfully bringing together archival research, archaeology, and literary analysis.”—Laurent Dubois, Duke University

Paula

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Paula - Isabel Allende Summary

When Isabel Allende's daughter, Paula, became gravely ill and fell into a coma, the author began to write the story of her family for her unconscious child. In the telling, bizarre ancestors appear before our eyes; we hear both delightful and bitter childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years, and the most intimate secrets passed along in whispers. With Paula, Allende has written a powerful autobiography whose straightforward acceptance of the magical and spiritual worlds will remind readers of her first book, The House of the Spirits.

Ripper

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Ripper - Isabel Allende Summary

Isabel Allende—the New York Times bestselling author whose books, including Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, and Zorro, have sold more than 57 million copies around the world—demonstrates her remarkable literary versatility with Ripper, an atmospheric, fast-paced mystery involving a brilliant teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco. The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Yet, while their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda’s father, she’s reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her—Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco’s elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL. While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature, like her father, the SFPD’s Deputy Chief of Homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world. When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, discovering, before the police do, that the deaths may be connected. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother’s disappearance be linked to the serial killer? Now, with her mother’s life on the line, the young detective must solve the most complex mystery she’s ever faced before it’s too late.

Aphrodite

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Aphrodite - Isabel Allende,Panchita Llona Summary

From an internationally acclaimed author, this is a magical, fascinating book exploring the intimate relationship between food and sex. This book of recipes, sensuous stories, aphrodisiacs and lovers' spells is an irresistible fusion of Allende's favourite things. Lavishly illustrated, this fascinating, personal guide to all things erotic encompasses a multicultural history of seduction through food, ancient and modern stories and poems about sex and eating, titillating recipes and advice. Chapter titles include: Cooking in the Nude; The Spell of Smell; Death by Perfume; Table Manners; With the Tip of the Tongue; The Orgy; Sins of the Flesh; Love Potions, and Sauces and Other Essential Fluids.

In the Midst of Winter

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In the Midst of Winter - Isabel Allende Summary

New York Times and worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil. In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster—a 60-year-old human rights scholar—hits the car of Evelyn Ortega—a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala—in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz—a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile—for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia. Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende’s landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of “humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics” (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

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