The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The novel starts out with a One Hundred Years of Solitude-vibe, with the history of a Chilean family through four generations. You're lulled into a weird tropical stupor where one of the main character's many rapes seem tolerable. (My Goodreads "sexual assault" shelf overflowth.) Little by little, the novel takes a darker political tone, until you're sitting in a pit of Pinochet-inspired torture. Magical realism to horror book basically.
Isabel Allende's father was a cousin of Salvador Allende, who was democratically elected president of Chile from 1970-1973. Because Salvador Allende was a Marxist/socialist the US supported Augusto Pinochet coup d'état in September 1973. Pinochet then proved to be a totalitarian dictator who violented oppressed his opposition. So that's why this novel goes the way it goes. If you want to read more about Isabel Allende's life versus House of Spirits: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/apr/28/isabelallende.fiction
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