Vibrant, stormy sky,
Furious outburst clears the air,
Now breathe, smile, move on.
Vibrant, stormy sky,
Furious outburst clears the air,
Now breathe, smile, move on.
Today I’m reviewing ‘Ines of my soul’, a passionate tale of love, freedom, and conquest, set in the 16th century from the New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende.
From the blurb
Born into a poor family in Spain, Inés Suárez, finds herself condemned to a life of poverty without opportunity as a lowly seamstress. But it’s the sixteenth century, the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Struck by the same restless hope and opportunism, Inés uses her shiftless husband’s disappearance to Peru as an excuse to embark on her own adventure. After learning of her husband’s death in battle, she meets the fiery war hero, Pedro de Valdivia and begins a love that not only changes her life but the course of history.
Based on the real historical events that founded Chile, Allende takes us on a whirlwind adventure of love and loss seen through the eyes of a daring, complicated woman who fought for freedom.
I have a confession to make. I admire Isabel Allende so much that when I grow up as an author (I consider myself a young author, because I published my first novel seven years ago), I want to be as intelligent, insightful, prolific, poetic, beautiful (inside and out) and full of life and vigour as Isabel Allende. She’s 78 and fell in love and married a year ago. She has also sold over 72 million books since she wrote The House of Spirits in 1982, and she still writes every day and publishes at least one novel every year.
She writes in Spanish always, which is her mother tongue, but her English is so fluent that she has translated some of her Spanish books into English, such as her recent memoir The Soul of a Woman, which I featured on my blog yesterday, International Women’s Day.
I am proud to say that we have a few things in common. I write mostly in English, but also in Spanish. We are both perfectly fluent in both languages, we are incurable romantics, and we are both mothers, grandmothers, writers and feminists.
She is my role model as a writer and a woman, and it is my pleasure to tell you about Ines del Alma Mía, a novel I read in Spanish when it first came out in 2014.
By the way you can watch the brilliant mini-series of eight episodes produced by Spanish and Chilean television companies on Amazon Prime.
Inés of my soul is an epic tale of love, adventure and the cruelty of the conquest of South America by the Spanish conquerors of the 16th century, when Spain was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, Charles V.
The tale begins in the early fifteen hundreds in Spain and continues to Venezuela and Peru, which had been conquered by Pizarro and continues with Pedro de Valdivia’s obsession to conquer Chile for the Spanish crown.
It is also the story of Ines Suarez, a young girl whose husband travels to America in search of El Dorado and never returns, so she decides to go there herself to find him, which was a dangerous and daring thing to do at the time for a woman on her own. But Ines is no ordinary woman. When she arrives she meets Valdivia, they fall in love and travel together during his conquests. There is plenty of drama, action and adventure, as well as savagery and inhumanity, which had me gasping in horror and shame.
The novel is thoroughly researched; all the major characters are based on real historical characters. The rich prose immerses the reader in the life and minds of the characters and the hardships and cruelty they face.
It’s not a quick, easy read, but it’s worth it to gain an insight into this convoluted and fascinated period in European and South American history.
Have you read any of Isabel Allende’s books?
Waning Winter Sun
Above children cavorting,
While tourists relax,
Under waning winter sun.
Memories of summers past.
The path is narrow,
With many a winding turn,
Which leads us to who knows where,
Who knows when, or why?
So, Crunch the leaves,
Stare at the sky,
Feel the wind swipe your cheeks,
While the sun tickles your eyes,
Because that’s enough.
Enjoy your walk!
I live outside my city, but not far enough that I can’t walk into town. I could take the car or catch the bus, but as I’m in no hurry at the moment, I enjoying a long, brisk walk. (I spent many years rushing to work, shopping and taking the kids to school and after school activities!).
Sometimes life is so demanding that we forget what a simple, quiet walk can do for us. We can stop for a few minutes to listen to, see and feel the trees, wind, and sky, which is so mentally and physically refreshing.
I love walking. It’s great exercise and I have time to think about so many things that time flies by!
As I already told you, I’m terrible at following rules, so not only have I written a poem, I’ve also told you all about the picture!
Enjoy your Monday! I hope you can spare a few minutes for a walk:)
Who Misses Shady Trees in November?
Passers by sit and chat or rest
On those empty benches,
Under the shade of sturdy trees.
Today they’re walking on puddles
Under a cloudy sky,
Or sitting indoors, by the fire,
For the sun to shine for a while,
as it might tomorrow,
No one misses the shady trees,
Check out Six Word Saturday here
Check out Stream of Consciousness Saturday here. Today’s prompt is ‘shade’.
Ice cold mountain stoops,
Peering down at autumn leaves,
For spring to dress them once more
With flowers and leaves galore.
As I already told you, I’m terrible at following rules, so not only have I written a tanka, now I’m going to tell you all about the picture!
I was here, for a freezing week, a few days ago. It’s a cold, but beautiful part of the north of Spain, where my mother and her family originally came from. There is a skiing resort nearby (see photo below), but I just visit for the scenery!
I was recently in Jerez for a few days with some friends from the UK and couldn’t resist taking some pictures of its beautiful doors to share with you!
Jerez is the 25th largest city in Spain, the 5th largest in Andalucía and the largest city in the province of Cadiz.
It is famous for The Royal Andalusian Ecuestrian School of Equestrian Art Foundation. We really enjoyed its famous show, “How the Andalusian Horses Dance”, a fascinating exhibition of horsemanship. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed during the show, but here’s a picture of one of the horses on its way back to the stables.
Here are three doors seen around the beautiful gardens on the grounds of the School.
After the show we had some tapas at a very modern, Michelin recommended restaurante nearby.
We stopped for a glass of famous Jerez wine. The city specialises in sweet and dry sherry. Sweet is my favourite! The dry sherry is very dry indeed.
Jerez has many beautiful traditional Spanish buildings, with stunning doors. Here are a few I saw strolling along its ancient streets.
We stayed at a charming, Modernist style, small hotel in the city centre, Hotel YIT Casa Grande, It must have been the home of a very rich family in the late 19th or early 20th century.
There’s a Cathedral and there are plenty of churches in Jerez. I’ll show you some church doors next week!
Meanwhile, do pop over to Norm’s Blog, #ThursdayDoors host, to join in or to check out other fabulous doors from around the world!
National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!
Today, Day 1, I’d like to introduce myself. Me is a poem I wrote a few years ago, while I was lecturing on Postcolonial Literature to Undergraduate students of English. We all wrote poems introducing ourselves from a migrant’s perspective, this was mine.
Fifty years ago on Seven Sisters road,
On an island miles and years away
From their wrecked and hungry homes,
In a spotless sullen ward,
Within the ancient Roman city of London,
A confused Spanish migrant,
Gave birth to the sole survivor of three.
Who decided the chosen one would be
She gave me a name, her name, a Roman name.
He gave me a surname, his surname, a Spanish surname.
Now I’m richer, I have two names and two surnames
As well as passwords and user names, and logins,
And ID cards with photos, and credit cards with microchips.
I’m the fusion of both of them, of all of them.
Their old country and our new world.
Two minds, two tongues, two hearts, but
I was baptized and civilized in churches and schools,
By Roman Catholic priests and nuns.
They taught me what to learn, and I did,
They taught me what to believe, and I did that too.
God blessed me with three brains;
One is clever and has a PhD,
Another is hard-working: teaching, cleaning and cooking,
But the best is loving and giving her love
To her three children, four grandchildren,
And their other unborn children.
And who are you?
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