“Spectacular…An absorbing and distinguished work…A novel of peace and reconciliation…The House of the Spirits with its all-informing, generous, and humane sensibility, is a unique achievement, both personal witness and possible allegory of the past, present, and future of Latin America. It is also a moving and compelling first novel, translated with grace and accuracy by Magda Bogin.”
—Alexander Coleman, The New York Times Book Review

“A runaway bestseller in Europe, this accomplished first novel is a richly symbolic family saga by the niece of Salvador Allende. It is both an engrossing narrative and an impassioned testimony to the people of Chile…Because of its supple integration of the supernatural with the real, the book will be compared with Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Allende has her own distinctive voice, however…it has a whimsical charm, besides being clearer, more accessible, and more explicit about the contemporary situation in South America…Richly and meticulously detailed.”
Publishers Weekly

“A strong, absorbing Chilean family chronicle, plushly upholstered—with mystical undercurrents…There’s a comfortable, appealing professionalism to Allende’s narration, slowly turning the years through the Truebas’ passions and secrets and fidelities…The characteres are clear and sharp…A fine array of exotic, historical settings…Uncommonly satisfying.”
Kirkus Reviews

“There are few trips more thrilling than those taken in the imagination of a brilliant novelist. That experience is available in The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende…Although remote from our country and our time, the characters, their joys and their anguish, could not be more contemporary or immediate.”

“Allende’s writing is so inventive, funny, and persuasive that in the process of creating a stimulating political novel she has also created a vivid, absorbing work of art. Her characters are fascinatingly detailed and human.”

“An alluring, sometimes magical tale…In its tumultuous story of rebellion and love among three generations, it is an allegory in which any family should be able to recognize a bit of itself.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Nothing short of astonishing…In The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende has indeed shown us the relationships between past and present, family and nation, city and country, spiritual and political values. She has done so with enormous imagination, sensitivity, and compassion.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Moving and powerful…Her novel captivates and holds the reader throughout…The House of the Spirits is full of marvelous and unforgettable women who add a special dimension to the book.”
The Christian Science Monitor

“The only cause The House of the Spirits embraces is that of humanity, and it does so with such passion, humor, and wisdom that in the end it transcends politics…The result is a novel of force and charm, spaciousness and vigor.”
—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“In an exquisite union of structure, plot, and metaphor, Isabel Allende has written—and Magda Bogin has brilliantly translated—a saga in which unforgettably eccentric characters live a fairy-tale existence in a tragic South American country that could well be Ms. Allende’s native Chile, but might just as well be a mythic nation levitating somewhere over the Andes…By turns hilarious, fantastical, portentous and grotesque, the story follows the Trueba family from the turn of the century to the present.”
Baltimore Sun

“There are so many stories packed into this novel that it would be tempting to think that they sprawled from the pen of Ms. Allende in a stream-of-consciousness, but in fact this is a strongly constructed book. Altogether, this is the most sophisticated first novel, rich in language, that I have read for a very long time.”
—Harriet Waugh, The Spectator (UK

“Magnificent…Imaginative and compelling…A truly enchanting world where hope is never lost.”
Detroit News

“Haunting…Rich and complex…Gripping.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Compelling…A splendid and fantastic meditation on a people and a nation.”

“Her novel is possessed by an immense energy, a fecund imagination and…an elegant way with the language.”

“Allende is a talented writer who deftly uses the techniques of magical realism but also shows great sensitivity in the delineation of character.”
Library Journal

“[Allende] can create diverse characters of depth, nudge the plot with ease, and shift ably from the domestic sphere to the political. She is, above all, another remarkable storyteller from a continent blessed with many such enchanters…Allende has an affection for her characters quite beyond politics, and an estimable ability to bring them to life.”

“Isabel Allende’s extraordinary first novel, The House of the Spirits, mixes fiction, journalism, and a sense of magic in an epic that qualifies her as one of Latin America’s most inspired writers…The richness and texture alone of Allende’s book put it with the best of the sweeping family chronicles.”
San Diego Tribune

“Explosively original…Irresistibly entertaining.”
Saturday Review

“We can read The House of the Spirits as both fascinating family portrait and intriguing political commentary. It is in no way a polemic. Allende has an affection for her characters quite beyond politics, and an estimable ability to bring them to life.”
Minneapolis Star

“Allende’s strengths are strong characterization and an oceanic style, whose ability to soothe reflects the healing power of the women.”
News-Record (Greensboro, North Carolina

“With this book Isabel Allende joins the many spirited women who have chosen to speak for the voiceless and have had the courage to denounce the wrongdoings of their countries…The House of the Spirits is a novel to be cherished and remembered because it comes from the heart. It is an authentic saga of a family torn by political happenings. It is also a beautiful tale of women who are intuitive, imaginative and capable of courageous action through their faith in the spirits and in their own words. Their stories become our own, their tragedy is ours, but their triumphs will also be ours.”
Women’s Review of Books

“Filled with extraordinary character delineations, rolling prose rich in pictures of Latin American life…The House of the Spirits is also a candid, dispassionate political statement.”
Arizona Daily Star