Book Reviews: Humourous Tale of a Selfless Life in Chile; My Invented Country: A Memoir by Isobel Allende. Published by Flamingo. Pounds 18.99
Byline: JUNE McLAUGHLIN
ISABEL Allende gives a powerful, passionate and soul-searching account of growing up in her native country of Chile. She explores the history and customs of the Chilean way of life, portraying a culture steeped in prejudice, folklore and religion.
Her cousin, Salvador Allende, was the elected President of Chile until he was deposed and assassinated in Pinochet's right-wing military coup in 1973. It was too dangerous for Allende, her husband and two daughters to stay in Chile, so they fled to Venezuela.
With a wonderful technique for storytelling and a tremendous sense of humour, Allende recalls her early childhood, raised from the age of four by her grandparents. She left school at 15 and married at 19 and, despite her feminist theories, she became a typical Chilean wife, selfless and servile.
Then she began a career as a journalist which she took very seriously, reporting issues that she felt needed addressing in Chilean society. …