The House of Spirits Read-Along: Week 1 Recap

House

My book for the Classics Club Spin #9 is The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, and as with the last Spin, I’m doing a read-along.  You don’t have to be a member of the Classics Club, but if you are, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your list!  Below is the chapter breakdown that will take us all the way to May 15th.  Each week I’ll do a recap, in which I will clearly mark any spoilers, and at the end I’ll do an overall review of the book.  If you’d like to join me, please add yourself to the linky!

  • April 6th – 12th: Chapters 1 and 2
  • Apr. 13th – 19th: Chapters 3, 4, and 5
  • Apr. 20th – 26th: Chapters 6 and 7
  • Apr. 27th – May 3rd: Chapters 8 and 9
  • May 4th – 10th: Chapters 10, 11, and 12
  • May 11th – 15th: Chapter 13 to the end of the book

This week’s recap is for Chapters 1 and 2.  I’ve read other books by Isabel Allende, and since I enjoyed them, I added The House of Spirits to my Classics Club list.  As I started reading, I started to doubt whether or not that was such a great decision.  However, since I also made the decision to do this read-along, I feel I should stick with the book, no matter what.

The story was confusing at first.  I don’t know why, but I had the impression that Barrabás was a man, the narrator was a woman, and Nana was the grandmother.  I was completely wrong about all three, but it took several pages to find that out.  On top of that, there’s a bit of magical realism, which is a literary style I’ve never enjoyed.  I don’t remember any of Isabel Allende’s other books having magical realism in them, but it’s possible that it was so subtle, my pre-college brain missed it.  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez is a completely different story, however, and that’s a book I willingly threw across the room with great force.  So, I groaned internally when I started seeing it in this book.  I like Clara and Barrabás, though.  I can’t stand Férula or Estaban, but I still want to find out what happens next.

What do you think of the story and the characters so far?  Do you enjoy or detest magical realism, and, if you can’t stand it, will that affect whether or not you continue reading?  I hope you stick with me in continuing to read, but all comments about the book are welcome.

5 thoughts on “The House of Spirits Read-Along: Week 1 Recap

  1. I was hoping I’d be able to make this read-along since I so enjoyed our Ivanhoe one, but I too have a handful of books I’ve been trying to polish off for months. Regardless, I hope you enjoy and that we can read together again someday soon!

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