Waiting for Allende

I can’t believe this has escaped my radar until now, but one of my all-time favorite authors, Isabel Allende, has a new book out in April! Last night I gave away a copy of The House of the Spirits at a book swap, and I’m currently in the middle of Daughter of Fortune… It must be fate—a dose of Allende-esque magic—that I received word of the new book today.

Out on April 27, The Island Beneath the Sea is another historical epic – what Allende does best, in my opinion. The original Spanish version of the novel was released in August as La isla bajo el mar and is already a bestseller. From what I can gather from the pub copy, the novel will tell the story of Zarité, a slave fighting for freedom in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) at the end of the 18th Century. Her owner will ultimately take her to New Orleans.

Isabel Allende

Note that the jacket image I’ve posted is of the Spanish edition of the novel, published by Knopf. The English edition will be published by HarperCollins. That jacket hasn’t yet been released.

The Island Beneath the Sea is Allende’s first novel since Inés of My Soul in 2006. In her review of that novel, BookPage reviewer Kelly Koepke wrote that Allende’s “singular talent for storytelling…grows stronger with each new work.” If The Island Beneath the Sea only lives up to Allende’s past work (marked by dreamy, detailed and emotional descriptions of character and place), then we’re all in for a treat.

So far, the novel seems to have healing powers — at least for the author. In an interview with the Latin American Herald Tribune, Allende said that a stomach ailment convinced her she had cancer as she was writing The Island Beneath the Sea. “I went from one doctor to another and no one could cure me,” she said. “When I finished the book, the symptoms went away and so far [they haven’t returned].”

Related in BookPage: Read a 2003 interview with Allende, “a gifted storyteller who forges an enchanting amalgam of memory and imagination.”

Will you be reading The Island Beneath the Sea? What is your favorite book by Allende?

9 Responses to Waiting for Allende

  1. Nadia says:

    Exciting news! I absolutely loved The House of the Spirits – one of my favorite books! This new one sounds just amazing! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. ellie says:

    Wonderful feature. I enjoy her books and loved The House of Spirits but my favorite is Daughter of Fortune.

  3. Eliza says:

    I’m glad to hear that. So far I have loved Daughter of Fortune, but it’s dragging for me a little bit right now. I’m at the part where Eliza’s just stowed away on the boat to California, and I’m hearing Tao Chi’en’s back story. I admit that I’m eager to get back to Eliza.

    The House of the Spirits is probably one of my top 10 favorite novels, though, so your recommendation means a lot!

  4. Steph says:

    How exciting, Eliza! I hope I’ll be able to make it through The House of the Spirits by the time this one is released!

  5. Eliza says:

    I know! It’s very exciting.

  6. Farah says:

    I will definitely be reading ‘the island beneath the sea’ as soon as i figure how to get hold of one copy. i have read all of Allende’s novels and because she is my favourite author i am always looking forward to her next work!! Although mu fav Allende novel remains Eva Luna followed by the House of the spirits and the stories of Eva Luna.

  7. Marilyn says:

    I have been reading Allende for years and I do love Daughters of Fortune. But my all time favorite of hers is Zorro. I was a huge Zorro fan as a child and this just added to his fascination. That you so much for letting me know about her new book.

  8. crazycris says:

    Hi! I just landed here by google accident and thought as someone who’s read this I might drop a line. ;o)

    I’m a big fan of Allende, I have most of her books and jump on anything new the moment it’s available (unlike some other authors for whom I’m willing to wait for the paperback). I’d say this is my favourite of her recent novels. It’s by far the most vivid, the one that feels the most “real”. Zarité is an enchanting heroine and her story is both sad and wonderful, enchanting and scary. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story!

  9. […] wrote about Isabel Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea two months ago, and that post has consistently showed up on our most viewed list—proof that we’ve got a lot of Allende fans […]

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