"The journey of life has long and tedious stretches, step by step, day by day, without anything exciting happening, but memory is made up of the unexpected events that mark your course."
Isabel Allende’s newest novel, Violeta, is a beautifully crafted bildungsroman that depicts the life of a Chilean heroine over the span of 100 years. Written as a letter to an unknown recipient, Violeta documents her life from birth to anticipated death. However, this novel is more than the life of one woman. It’s a tale of an entire country and its people, searching for freedom and peace through the great depression, two world wars and tumultuous regime changes. Similar to the ups and downs of life, this novel’s story oscillates from thrilling adventures to mundane happenings. Because of this there isn’t a stand alone climax, which may frustrate some readers, but we enjoyed the deep understanding it allowed of Violeta and the supporting characters along the way. Overall, Allende stays true to her style and gives us an epic tale of drama, romance, and resistance.