An historical novel set at the end of the nineteenth century in Chile, Portrait in Sepia is a family saga that continues the story begun in Allende’s highly acclaimed Daughter of Fortune. Recounted in the voice of a young woman in search of her roots, Portrait in Sepia is a novel about memory and family secrets.
Aurora del Valle suffers a brutal trauma that shapes her character and erases from her mind all recollection of the first five years of her life. Raised by her ambitious grandmother, the regal and commanding Paulina del Valle, Aurora grows up in a privileged environment, free of the limitations that circumscribe the lives of women at that time but tormented by horrible nightmares. When forced to recognize her betrayal at the hands of the man she loves—and to cope with the resulting solitude—she decides to explore the mystery of her past.