Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson : “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for your...”
Literature Help: Novels: Plot Overview 591: The House of the Spirits
The House of the Spirits Summary
The obvious similarities are that both novels relate the saga of a family, both make liberal use of magic and fantasy, and both established their authors' literary reputations. On the surface, Allende's novel is the story of Esteban Trueba, his wife, his children, and his granddaughter. But The House of the Spirits is also the story of political corruption, patriarchal authority, feminine oppression, and the movement from the old world into the new. The action in the novel spans four generations and covers more than fifty years of history. During those fifty years, the country changes, first through technology and modern communications, and later through the desire to find a better life. Nivea and Clara become suffragettes, and Jaime works to improve people's lives, while Alba becomes involved in a protest movement that will ultimately ask great sacrifices of her. Throughout all these events, Esteban will be little more than an angry observer.
The House of the Spirits is a family saga that spans four generations, but focuses primarily on the lives of two women in the clan, Clara del Valle and Alba de Satigny, and the connection between them. Events are not recorded chronologically, which can make following the plot a bit complicated, but let's give it a shot. Clara continues to write in journals the rest of her life, and it's thanks to her that the narrator can piece together the family history fifty years later. When little Clara curses during a silent moment she earns a reputation for demonic possession. This concerns her parents, for more reasons than you might think. Turns out, Clara already has some special gifts — she can predict the future, interpret dreams, and move furniture around telekinetically.
The House of the Spirits opens with the del Valle family gathered together in church on Holy Thursday. Father Restrepo pronounces young Clara possessed by the devil. The body and possessions of Uncle Marcos are dropped off at the del Valle household, and Clara takes Barrabas , Uncle Marcos's dog, as her own.
The novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers before being published in Buenos Aires in It became an instant best seller, was critically acclaimed,  and catapulted Allende to literary stardom. The book was first conceived by Allende when she received news that her year-old grandfather was dying. She began to write him a letter that ultimately became the manuscript of The House of the Spirits. The story details the life of the Trueba family, spanning four generations, and tracing the post-colonial social and political upheavals of Chile — though the country's name, and the names of figures closely paralleling historical ones, such as " the President " or " the Poet ", are never explicitly given. The story is told mainly from the perspective of two protagonists Esteban and Alba and incorporates elements of magical realism. The story starts with the del Valle family, focusing upon the youngest and the oldest daughters of the family, Clara and Rosa.