Sunday, September 20, 2015

Five books about magical families

Christopher Barzak's latest novel is Wonders of the Invisible World. One of five books about magical families he tagged at
House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende

This highly acclaimed novel by the niece (or more specifically, second cousin) of Salvador Allende, former President of Chile (1970-1973), chronicles the lives of several generations of the Trueba and del Valle families. Starting with the forefather and foremother who originate a family that rise from meager beginnings (on one side) into political power decades later, Allende traces the course of Chilean history itself through the movements of her characters, illustrating the destruction of colonial communities in a rapidly changing and conflicted socioeconomic sphere. The del Valle family has a touch of magic in their blood, which is most apparent in the character of Clara del Valle, who is clairvoyant and in touch with a variety of entities in the spirit world. Her presence, humane and connected to others through the human spirit, stands in opposition to her husband, whose harsh political beliefs nearly destroy his own family in the same way that those political beliefs nearly destroy their country.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The House of the Spirits is among Elif Shafak's five favorite literary mothers.

--Marshal Zeringue