Throughout my life, books have not only been my mediums of solace, but also my greatest mentors. My favorite novels led me to question societal constructs, embrace the metaphysical, and dabble in the unfathomable. However, few novels were enlightening as Isabel Allende's "The House of The Spirits." Set in the Pinochet era, the Latin-American melodrama shares the riveting vicissitudes of the endearing Trueba family. It begins as a light-hearted, eccentric family chronicle growing somber as characters are enveloped in the socialist coup'd'ĂŠtat. In the book, concepts such as the duality of life and death are explored, as well as memory and time. But what makes the work so powerful to me is its portrayal of devastation from an ostensibly harmless human feeling - hatred. Boldly and shamelessly, Allende demonstrates the depravity of man, fruitlessness of revenge, and power of love. At first, I loathed Esteban for his rapes of innocent girls and poor treatment of his workers. Yet through his storytelling, as I learned of his compassion towards his granddaughter Alba and love for Rosa and Clara, I was touched. By the book's end, he is reduced to a whimpering, old man staring death in the face and regretting his sins. Can we forgive his vile acts? And if not, will we allow this curse of hate to fester for all eternity? The House of The Spirits has reminded me of not judging a book by its cover, of giving others a chance, and most importantly, that animosity can only bring harm.
Btw there's a 1500 character limit. Mine's 1496/1500.