Ben Oliver

Eva Luna

31 July 2022

The story of a young woman as she grows up in a South American country. Written in the first person, Eva regales us with extraordinary tales from her life with dictatorship and civil unrest as a backdrop.

It’s hard not to think of the Arabian Nights when reading Eva Luna; the story unfolds as a series of almost self-contained shorter episodes, and our protagonist is a gifted storyteller who eventually makes a living from her skills.

Allende’s prose is lush and the worlds she builds leap off the page. She conjures images so vivid that you can almost feel the heat of the jungle with every sentence. She carefully manages the mood and tone of every scene, revelling in the sometimes tragic, sometimes beautiful little intricacies of life with a charmingly casual disregard for plot.

Tragic, sensual and funny, Eva Luna might pull you in or it might piss you off. I urge you to dive in and find out.